The NAACP Ozaukee Branch prepares for their 13th Annual Freedom Fund Dinner, on Sunday, November 13th, 2011 at the Mequon Country Club, in Mequon, Wisconsin, Beginning with the Reception at 4 p.m. in the evening, followed by a provocative Panel Discussion: “ Affirming America’s Promise,” many of Milwaukee’s most experienced leaders will share their perspectives on a myriad of issues that affect the greater Milwaukee area.
Moderated by celebrated Editorial writer and Columnist, James E. Causey, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the distinguished panel includes Tamara Grisby, State Representative for the 18th Assembly District, State of Wisconsin; Melanie Holmes, Vice President, World of Work Solutions for Manpower Group, Milwaukee; James Hall, Attorney and President of the Milwaukee NAACP Branch; and Ralph Hollmon, President of the Milwaukee Urban League.
The Annual Freedom Event is designed to help support the overall mission and goals of the NAACP Ozaukee Branch and their innovative programs such as “Unifest,” that brings high school students together to overcome barriers and live harmoniously. And, the event provides scholarship funding to students living in Ozaukee County.
Currently, seven students, supported with scholarships from NAACP Ozaukee Branch, are attending colleges throughout the United States as they continue to excel in their educational pursuits. Additionally, multi-year scholarships are available to students through the Freedom Fund initiatives and fundraising.
“We have brought together some of the top leaders from the area who know the problems and are committed to finding viable solutions for improving the lives of people and narrowing the disparity gaps. No one can escape the tragedies of our current economic situation and the fact that so many are hurting,” said Dr Deryl Davis-Fulmer, PhD., Event Chair for the NAACP Ozaukee Branch Freedom Fund Event Committee.
“The 21st century role of the NAACP is a collaborative one to ensure that the civil rights of all people are maintained and to uphold the foundation of the American promise…to affirm it. The NAACP is challenging all of us to join forces in the expansion and creation of new American opportunities and affirming those existing promises for a better tomorrow,” she added.
Thought provoking recommendations and experiential suggestions are expected from Melanie Holmes, Vice President of World of Work Solutions of Manpower, Inc., and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Milwaukee Area Technical College as she looks at high schools, community colleges and local organizations and their roles. Attendees should learn more about the 2011 Report of the American Institutes for Research findings and what must be done to bolster college remedial support, retention and graduations.
James Hall, President of the NAACP Milwaukee Branch, whose new leadership has witnessed a resurgence of membership in the Black Middle Class. This demographic group is currently under attack as the number of families continue to shrink, in these recessionary times.
President Hall’s experience on working to close this economic gap is revealing. According to President Marc Morial, of the National Urban League, “the unemployment rate of Blacks with a four year college degree has skyrocketed.” So a college degree is not the instant insurance that it used to be in the upwardly mobile economic picture. President Hall has begun multiple initiatives to change this paradigm, his thoughts are significant in: “Affirming America’s Promise.”
State Representative Tamara Grigsby continues to look for legislative opportunities to balance the playing field. In her role, she will be speaking to the disparities in African American incarceration rates, the injustices of the current justice system, and what must be done to improve education opportunities that statically reduce recidivism.
Ozaukee County has been a leader, for years, in providing educational opportunities for inmates. To date, over 500 inmates have received their GED’s from the Ozaukee County program. State Representative Grisby’s experiences and discussions about initiatives that prototype these successes should be provocative.
Ralph Hollmon, President of the Milwaukee Urban League understands the growing impact of social media with its opportunities to bring people, organizations and like-issues together, instantly. He will examine partnerships that strengthen organizations and most significantly bring communities together.
The Milwaukee Urban League’s partnerships have been historically very successful. What are the fundamentals that ground organizations and their players so that partnerships are mutual, reciprocal?
This expertise has come from years of experience and astute leadership from the ground-floor through execution. President Hollmon’s discussions will open doors for new thought and approaches to solving problems that plague the community.
Numerous other topics may be broached as attendees seek ways to prepare and execute in the coming year. The Voter ID bill; joblessness; bringing government, business and academia together to work in concert; how does one make our policy-makers more aware of laws, regulations and standards that promote rehabilitation versus long-term incarceration, and other issues are expected to be a part of the panel’s purview.
For more information about attending the NAACP Ozaukee Branch 21st Annual Freedom Fund Event visit: www.naacpozaukee.org.