By Carol Cain


By Carol Cain
CBS 62 

Eric Holder Jr., the country’s first African-American U.S. attorney general, will be the keynote speaker at the Detroit Branch NAACP’s 57th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner this Sunday at Cobo Center.

Billed as one of the largest  sit down dinners in the country – it will attract thousands from across the region.

This year also marks 100 years since the founding of the Detroit Branch NAACP. The centennial will celebrated by a year long campaign that highlights the achievements of the local branch, its history and its contributions to the civil rights movement.

The Detroit NAACP  chapter is  run by Rev. Wendell Anthony who serves as president. It  remains the only one in the nation to have the privilege of hosting presidents, secretaries of state, international dignitaries at its Fight For Freedom Dinner.

Rev. Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit NAACP.

“This year is a year of historic proportion,” Anthony said. “For 100 years we lay claim to both  victories and new opportunities. From East Grand Boulevard in Detroit to Mozambique in East Africa, we have improved the quality of life for a struggling people. Our signature event, the annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner, continues to be the marvel of the nation.

“From Thurgood Marshall to Bill Clinton and now Eric Holder, nobody does it like the Detroit branch NAACP.”

The NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. From the ballot box to the classroom, the thousands of dedicated workers, organizers, leaders and members who make up the NAACP continue to fight for social justice for all Americans.

“The history of our organization has been decorated by the hard work, complete dedication and commitment to the task at hand of the hundreds of volunteers, past presidents, executive directors and board members,” Anthony said.

A virtual “who’s who” from corporations, unions, education, community groups and more will gather at the dinner event which is a fundraiser for the local chapter.

“I’m proud to be chair of this year’s Fight for Freedom Dinner – especially so in the NAACP’s centennial year,” said Gerard Anderson. CEO of DTE Energy. “ DTE Energy has supported the NAACP during much of its rich history, and feel we have worked in parallel with the organization to level the playing field for all members of our community. I congratulate the NAACP for driving positive change through a century of service and achievement.”

Several awards will be given out to luminaries from across the country during Sunday’s dinner event.

This year’s event will also feature attorney and social justice advocate Dr. Charles Ogletree of Harvard University who will provide a special word for a new initiative on the issue of the “Stand Your Ground” law.

On Saturday, the Detroit branch’s Thurgood Marshall Social Justice Advocacy Project will host a forum called “Stops, Cops, and America’s Addiction to Incarceration” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cobo.

It will feature representatives from the office of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, Wayne County Circuit Court, Detroit Police and Michigan State Police.

For more information:  313-871-2087 or www.detroitnaacp.org.

Carol Cain is the Emmy winning Senior Producer and Host of “Michigan Matters” airing 11:30 a.m. Sundays on CBS 62. She can be reached at clcain@cbs.com or 248-355-7126.

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