The Brooklyn NAACP celebrated 100 years of “advancing the cause of Civil Rights & Social Justice” at an evening gala in Downtown Brooklyn Thursday, December 15, 2022. Leaders from all walks of life — addressed as “freedom fighters” by L. Joy Williams, the branch president — were in attendance. Joining Ms. Williams in delivering the “Call to Action” message was Hazel Dukes, President of the NAACP New York State Conference, and Karen Boykin-Towns, Vice-Chair of the NAACP National Board of Directors.
The honorees included Gloria Carter, Co-founder and CEO of the Shawn Carter Foundation; Dr. Brenda M. Greene, Founder & Executive Director of the Center for Black Literature and Director of the National Black Writers Conference; C. Zawadi Morris, Founder & Publisher of BK Reader; New York State Attorney General Letitia James; Esmeralda Simmons, Esq., the Civil & Human Rights Attorney; The Tompkins Avenue Merchants Association (TAMA), represented by entrepreneur Tiecha Merritt; Rev. Anthony L. Trufant, senior pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church; Dr. Torian Easterling, former First Deputy Commissioner and Chief Equity Officer, NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene; Uche Blackstock, MD, and CEO, Advancing Health Equity; and Dr. Robert Gore, MD and Founder, Kings Against Violence Initiative (KAVI), Department of Emergency Medicine, King County & SUNY Downtown Hospitals. In addition to the moving awards ceremony, the program included performances by Jamel Gaines’ Creative Outlet Dance Theatre; vocalists Antonya Jeffrey and Charenee Wade. Marlon Rice — introduced by Centennial Committee Chair Anthony Buissereth and Teri L. Nalls of the Branch’s Youth Council — was Master of Ceremony; Roshawn Boyce, the Branch’s 1st Vice President and Fitzgerald Boyce, the Branch membership Chair, delivered the welcome.
The Invocation was delivered by Pastor Craig Williams of Greater St. Stephen, UCOG, and the Benediction was delivered by Rev. Agnes Blackmon of Westminster Bethany Presbyterian Church. Our Time Press congratulates President Williams, the Board, and her staff for a wonderful evening, as reflected in some of the photos on Page 7. In the program notes, L. Joy Williams challenged “the attendees to join the branch in its ongoing effort to achieve equity, political rights and social inclusion by advancing policies and parties that expand human and civil rights, eliminate discrimination and accelerate well-being, education, and economic security for Black people and persons of color in the quest for justice.” We are committed to echo the Brooklyn NAACP’s “call for action” across Central Brooklyn as we follow her lead.
-Bernice Elizabeth Green & David Mark Greaves