Sept. 12, at the Marina del Rey in Throggs Neck, N.Y., the NAACP Mid-Manhattan Branch held its 14th annual Freedom Fund Luncheon, with a wonderful turnout of members and guests from all over New York.

President Geoffrey Eaton opened the program, saying, “As president of the Mid-Manhattan Branch of the National Association for the Advance of Colored People, it is my honored pleasure to welcome you to our 14th annual Freedom Fund Roy Wilkins Awards Luncheon. Since our chartered founding in 1966, NAACP Mid-Manhattan Branch has consistently been recognized at the local, state and national level as one of the association’s flagship branches.”

Eaton continued, “I would like to thank all of of the delegates, alternates, observers, officers, executive committee, committee chairs and members who joined us at our 106th National Convention in Philadelphia. I want to especially thank all of you who came to support and cheer me on as I made history, becoming the first branch president to introduce our national chairman at the Opening Public Mass Meeting.

“This year President Cornell William Brooks and our amazing New York State Conference president, the Hon. Hazel N. Dukes, who walked 26 miles when our journey began on Aug. 1 to Sept. 16. With our eyes fixed on a better future for all Americans, not just the select few, the NAACP has embarked on America’s Journey to Justice, an historic 860 miles, from Selma, Ala., to Washington, D.C., where we will mobilize activists and advance a focused national advocacy agenda that protects the right of every American to a fair criminal justice system, uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, sustainable jobs with a living wage and equitable public education. Our lives, our votes, our jobs and our schools matter!”

Eaton concluded, “As we continue to pursue liberty in the face of injustice, let me congratulate all of our exemplary honorees this afternoon, who have contributed greatly and have been outstanding leaders: Kyle Bragg, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel James, TouroCOM, George Hulse, the Rev. Robert Royal, Amie Kyros, Lt. Tracy Lewis, branch leadership recipient Gary Johnson and branch service recipient Dolores L. Brinkley. Let me thank and congratulate our fundraising committee—and enjoy this wonderful afternoon.”

The gathering received a greeting from New York State NAACP President Hazel Dukes. Music was provided by the Warren Daniels Orchestra.