By Cheryl Brown
The San Bernardino Branch of the NAACP held their annual dinner this month, and even though Rev. Al Sharpton did not show, it was still a tremendous success.
It was a success because the honorees had an opportunity to speak and the audience heard their struggles giving strength to those who may be going through their own problems.
And because Hardy Brown, the S.B. outgoing president, had an opportunity to speak about the work both nationally and locally of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People many in the crowd left with a renewed commitment to support the work of the organization.
MCs Dr. Paulette Brown Hinds and Rickerby Hinds masterfully led the program. Music was provided by Spirit (Musicians for Christ) and Ms. Judy Arnold.
In his speech Brown told of the conditions of Black people in our community. He spoke of the Vines societys efforts to get and keep Black students in the UCR Bio Med program.
He spoke of Riverside Deputy Sheriff Ken Vanns desire to recruit more Blacks into law enforcement and the obstacles he has had to overcome to get them into the system.
He pointed to the dinners title sponsor, T & S Investments, Toyin Dawodus, desire to teach African Americans how to get out of debt and how it has possibly cost him his freedom. If the Riverside DA has anything to say about it he will go to jail.
He told of a 29-year Dennys employee, who was fired without good reason, lost all her retirement and benefits, and turned to the NAACP for help. "We need reputable attorneys who understand our plight to take these cases!" said Brown.
He spoke of the Branchs work with the Seventh Day Adventist Church and how racism played a role in a decision the conference made against a Black pastor and congregation. Now that decision has escalated into a court case against a local pastor.
"Do we need the NAACP, yes we need it more than ever and we need it right here in San Bernardino!" exclaimed Brown
His message was directly responsible for Attorney Denise Brue Clopton taking the Dennys discrimination case. Rev. Dr. Robert Fairley and Pastor Josh Beckley both renewed their commitment to support the cause.
The CSU San Bernardino Cross-Cultural Center, led by John Futch, said they want more NAACP involvement on campus and Futch signed his family up and is encouraging others.
Dr. Ernest Levister with the JW Vines Society, Rev. Reggie Beamon with SCLC, and others have renewed their support for the Branch and the support continues. San Manuel Indian Reservation put their money where their mouth is and sent a check to the Branch two weeks after the event.
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