NAACP’s 70th Annual Marjorie D. Wickliffe Freedom Fund Banquet to honor local advocates, feature national organization speaker Hillary O. Shelton

| August 20, 2015

FORT WAYNE—NAACP Fort Wayne/Allen County Branch 3049 recently announced the names of the recipients of the individuals and companies or organizations to be honored for community service at the NAACP’s upcoming 70th Annual Marjorie D. Wickliffe Freedom Fund Banquet, scheduled for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sept. 10 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum 4000 Parnell Ave.

Those scheduled to be honored include:

  • Cecil Ellis Academic Freedom Award—Associate Dean Phebe Poydras, J.D., M.L.I.S., Indiana Tech Law School Library in recognition of an outstanding contribution to academic freedom.
  • Preston A. Lyons Sr. Freedom and Justice Award—Parkview Health for excellence in advancing the economic and social interest of underserved communities.
  • Rev. Dr. Clyde Adams Humanitarian Award—The Rev. Dr. Bill McGill, senior pastor of Imani Baptist Temple for a Lifetime member who has had a record of sustained giving and volunteerism and have through their efforts made a significant contribution to changing lives on a community, national and/or international level.
  • Rev. Dr. JB Pressey Literacy Award—John Peirce of Pierce Consulting LLC to recognize a person who daily lives out his or her commitment to early childhood development and Literacy.
  • Medgar Evers Lifetime Achievement Award—Foundation One, owner of Unity Barber Shop, as an Allen County resident who has demonstrated leadership skills and beyond the call of duty and responsibility.
  • NAACP Unsung Hero President Award—Erma Belt, administrative assistant at the African/African American Historical Museum for enriching Allen County by serving as a catalyst for a cause, issue or organization.
  • Marjorie D. Wickliffe Community Service Award—Sheila Curry-Campbell, community program consultant and youth advisor, recognizing an Allen County resident who served without compensation and participated in a number of service projects beyond that of a board member of any organization.
  • Thurgood Marshall Outstanding Business Person Award—Julie Inskeep, publisher of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, to recognize an owner, partner or major shareholder of a for profit business practices and community involvement.
  • Dr. Bernard Stuart Health Award—Linda Brooks, owner of Step Up To Fitness, for educating the community on health related issues pertinent to African American youth and adults.
  • Economic Empowerment Award—Leroy Jackson Jr., board member of the Fort Wayne Black Chamber of Commerce for advocating for  financial literacy programs for African American youth and other people of color related programs/initiatives to address youth and young adults.
  • Dr. James Breedlove Education Award—Dr. Ruby Cain, assistant professor and M.A. program director, Adult & Community Education, Department of Educational Studies for Ball State University and director of It Is Well With My Soul for addressing education disparities and other discriminatory practices in public education and created programs to assist students with education concerns.
  • Charles Redd Voter Empowerment Award—Sharon Tucker, Commercial Lines supervisor for 1st Source Insurance and 1st District Allen County councilwoman, for work advocating to increase voter registration, education and mobilization and held activities in conjunction with the This is My Vote Campaign.

The keynote speaker is the dynamic Hilary O. Shelton, NAACP Washington Bureau director and senior vice president for Advocacy and Policy. Shelton is responsible for advocating for the federal public policy issue agenda of the oldest, largest, and most widely recognized civil rights organization in the United States to the U.S. Government.

Honorary co-chairs for the Freedom Fund Banquet are Dr. Rae Pearson, president/CEO, Alpha Rae Personnel Inc. and Golden Heritage Lifetime Member, NAACP, and Marc Levy, executive director of Questa Foundation for Education and lifetime member of the NAACP.  Mistress of ceremonies is Jasmyn Durham, multimedia journalist  for TV-WFFT 55.

Entertainment is scheduled to be provided by Darron “Cookie” Moore an independent jazz musician, writer, arranger and artist.  Moore, who plays the bass, keyboard and drums, has released a number of albums including: “Nothing Else to Say,” “Bass-is Loaded,” “At Peace,” “A New Love” and “In Your Presence.” His musical artistry will provide the perfect melodic framework for our auspicious event.

Sponsors for the event include:

W.E.B. Dubois level sponsor—Parkview Health;

Bernard Stuart leve sponsors—Alpha Rae Personnel Inc., AEP Indiana Michigan Power and Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne (IPFW), and

Media sponsor—Frost Illustrated and the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.

Tickets are available through:

For more information, contact Sheila Campbell, Freedom Fund Banquet Committee chair at (260) 740-7810 or via email at

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Category: Civil Rights, Events, Local

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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