The annual Freedom Fund Dinner is back. The NAACP Dane County Branch fundraiser is returning in person for the first time since 2019 on Saturday, Oct. 29, 7 p.m. at the Madison Concourse Hotel & Governor’s Club in downtown Madison.
“After two years of not having a gathering for the Freedom Fund Dinner, I’m excited to see that we are able to bring together the community in the interest and the vision of what we call the ‘Freedom Fund campaign,'” NAACP Dane County President Greg Jones tells Madison365.
The annual Freedom Fund Dinner is the major fundraiser for the NAACP Dane County Branch.
“It allows us to gather funds and then put in place activities, efforts and advocacy for civil rights,” Jones says. “As an all-volunteer organization, and particularly the Freedom Fund committee, I applaud and certainly appreciate all the efforts.”
The theme for this year’s event is “Unity Is Power,” which reflects the Dane County Branch’s position, Jones says, as they “face unprecedented attempts reflects to suppress the constitutional rights of citizens to vote by forces inside and outside of Wisconsin.”
“’Unity Is Power’ also reflects our collective will to address racial disparities in Dane County and come up with solutions that are long-term and have an impact on this county, particularly for our brothers and sisters who are in need of support,” Jones says.
“I am so happy that we have received so much support for the Freedom Fund Banquet from individuals, corporations, and organizations to make this event a success,” he adds.
The keynote speaker for the event will be John Nichols, the national affairs correspondent for The Nation and associate editor of The Capital Times. who has authored or co-authored books like The Genius of Impeachment and The Death and Life of American Journalism.
“Having a local well-known – and internationally known – speaker like John Nichols is going to embellish that whole concept of ‘Unity Is Power.’ We think John will bring a message that will be reflective of the theme,” Jones says. “It will be indicative of our need to go forward, work together and get things done. Most importantly, it builds cohesion among the people in that room that night.
“The purpose of having John as a keynote speaker was to bring a local voice to the table to bring out those values, and those unmet needs,” Jones continues. “One of the things I like about the theme is that it gives us the ability to apply what I believe is a collective will to solve all of these long-term issues we are seeing in Dane County. Collectively, can we make a difference in the lives of our people who are in need of support and support services?”
The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. The organization was founded back in 2014.
At the event, the NAACP Dane County will also recognize their ACT-SO participants, talented youth who represented the Madison area in the 2022 National ACT-SO Competition in July in Atlantic City, N.J.
Jones says that there are still a few seats left. For tickets, click here.
For many, the Freedom Fund Banquet is a welcoming event after the banquet was canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I understand that some folks will be shy about coming together, but at the same time, we think things are clearing up and we think we have enough CDC guidance from the county from the state, that we can go forward,” Jones says. “The committee has been monitoring conditions for a while before we said, ‘Yes, let’s do it.’ We took everything into account.
“It’s been a long pandemic and I think people really miss the camaraderie and the fellowship that happens at this event. That’s what I like about it,” Jones adds.