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High Desert NAACP Chapter Holds Annual Freedom Fundraiser Banquet

VICTORVILLE, CA- On Friday, November 3, the Hilton Garden Inn in Victorville hosted the NAACP Branch 1082 Annual Freedom Fund Dinner. The evening featured a delicious full course meal, exciting musical sounds by local band Willie Cockrell “Strings ‘n Things”. The event was ‘sold out’ as many community members, leaders and organizations gathered in recognition of the NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization.

NAACP President Bill Thomas warmly welcomed everyone, as Jiles Smith was introduced as MC for the evening. A few noted representatives and organizations in attendance included Supervisor Robert Lovingood, Delta Sigma Theta, NCNW, San Bernardino Sherriff’s Department, Burning Bush Church, Emmanuel Temple and First Missionary Baptist Church.

Shonda Scott, an entrepreneur, community leader and activist was introduced by Windsor Richmond, Anthem/Blue Cross Field Sales Manager, as keynote speaker for the evening. Scott is the CEO of 360 Total Concept, a corporation based in Northern California that provides services to organizations needing support with program management, communications, contract compliance, logistics and general management. 

Scott, passionately shared her journey as becoming involved in community service during her early years. Raised by her father, a college professor and mother a retired Navy Officer, they each instilled in her the importance of serving her community and making a positive difference. 

Scott commented, “Though I was too young to vote, my parents would often have me ‘phone bank’ and distribute flyers” along with many other miscellaneous tasks”. Scott humbly performed her duties that would later define her attitude and approach to politics. The early on work ethics experience attributed to Scott’s career lead to serving alongside great leaders such as Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Senator Kamala Harris including working with Pres. Barak Obama’s Whitehouse platform committee.

Scott encouraged the audience, specifically the youth to become in her words “Disrupters” in their communities. Further clarifying her statement, she closely described the meaning, “”Disrupters” as prioritizing justice, equality and the integrity of the political process, not to settle for the ‘status quo’. She further stated, “Dr. Martin Luther King was a ‘Disrupter’, Rosa Parks, John F. Kennedy and many other great historical leaders that made tremendous strides to better our nation”. “We would not be where we are today without these prolific “Disrupters”. It is a reality that we have to cultivate the next generation to maintain what many have fought and died for. Scott continued to comment regarding today’s youth saying, “If we are hosting events and the room is not half filled with young people or if we are not teaching our youth wisdom and knowledge on how to become positive “Disrupters”, then their outcome is our fault, and that’s the truth”. 

Shonda Scott is the embodiment of an empowered woman, who grew up in an ordinary family and made extraordinary developments in her career. She is an ‘Agent of Change’, dedicated to serving her community, as she inspires and influences us all. Concluding her speech, she exited the stage amid a standing ovation. 

An exciting highlight for the evening was the introduction of youth from the Millionaire Minds Kids Program and other young achievers. Standing onstage, they each had an opportunity to share their education and career goals/achievements. Their impressive career choices included accomplishments with obtaining degrees in the various fields of Medical, Engineering and Legal Studies.

An Inspiring student commented that her sibling, a previous NAACP recipient, was not in attendance due to her on- duty employment as a Pilot for a major airline carrier. They each vowed to continue being positive “Disrupters” of their generation as they took photos with speaker Shonda Scott.

Former NAACP Scholarship Recipients Attorneys, Phyllis Morris-Green, San Bernardino County Public Defender and Garner C. Morris, Jr. Deputy District Attorney, Santa Clara, CA were acknowledged. Both have excelled immensely in their chosen fields. 

Peggy Moore, Chair for the NAACP Scholarship committee was introduced by MC-Jiles Smith.   Acknowledging the past recipient’s success stories, Smith thereby challenged the audience, requesting donations to assist students with their future academic scholarships. Eager and generous hands began to spontaneously wave checks in the air donating contributions that will create college access and success for many motivated youth and young adults. 

Award recipients were recognized for their outstanding community service; Charley and Evelyn Glasper- (Political and Educational Achievement); Cara Denise Hutson (Judicial Excellence); Regina Weatherspoon-Bell – (Community Service).

The NAACP wishes to recognize and thank these outstanding sponsors for the event, Platinum Sponsors-The GEO Group, Frontier Communications, Gold Sponsor-Edible Arrangements.

Table Sponsors included Attorneys Jim Terrell/Sharon J. Brunner; Burning Bush Church; City of Adelanto; Delta Sigma Theta; Emmanuel Temple; First Missionary Baptist Church; Mr. & Ms. Rick Hudson; Mr. & Ms. Garner Morris; San Bernardino County Sheriff Dept.; NAACP President Mr. & Ms. Bill Thomas; Mr. & Ms. Charley Glasper; Mrs. LaVern Scriven; Ms. Yolande Culbreth; Ms. Gloria Roberts.

Special thanks to Mrs. Terry Thomas, Chairperson of the Freedom Fund Banquet and her outstanding committee. 

On behalf of High Desert/Inland Valley News, we wish to applaud NAACP-High Desert Branch 1082 for their outstanding efforts in making the Annual Freedom Fundraiser Dinner a great success!

Time For Change Foundation’s Founder, Kim Carter, Recognized in Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 List

Kim bio pic

Kim Carter

The EBONY Power 100 is compiled by the editors of EBONY magazine. Each selection is considered a leader in his or her field. Over the past year, these individuals have had a positive impact on the African-American community. They are game changers in their respective fields and have consistently challenged the status quo. The Star-Studded list of other honorees includes people like Oprah Winfrey, R & B legend Rihanna and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris to name a few. Kim Carter is being honored as one of the “Community Crusaders” reflecting a collective of liberators and leaders who affirm the lives of the misrepresented, no matter race, gender or creed. Through philanthropic efforts and activism, these honorees galvanize and nurture our communities with the mission of ensuring liberty and justice for all.

Kim Carter founded the Time for Change Foundation in 2002, helping homeless women and children reach self-sufficiency. Today, she is a powerful leader transforming the lives of those impacted by poverty and incarceration. Kim’s innovation created a plethora of evidence-based program models, including 2 shelters, 13 permanent supportive housing units and developing her first affordable housing project, The Phoenix Square.   Today, the organization’s impact and model is being replicated in 2 different states and the Bay Area.

As a policy fellow, she learned how to navigate the political system and influence policy and laws to advance her cause. Using her past experiences with incarceration and homelessness as the fuel to drive her passion, she has excelled as a notable leader. Through her Center for Housing Advancement & Motivational Projects LLC she does consulting and motivational speaking across the country.   Many call Kim the “Real Deal” because she is a powerful voice for change with dynamic skills that propel others to stand up and take action.

The Ebony Power 100 list features men and women who are truly making a difference in their communities and the world through their work, talent and influence,” says Nationwide Chief Administrative Officer Gale King. “Nationwide congratulates this year’s distinguished honorees and looks forward to celebrating their accomplishments and contributions at this year’s gala.

“My purpose is to do what seems impossible, like ending homelessness and developing leaders from  those that are most impacted by negative social conditions,” says Kim Carter. “Harriet Tubman didn’t quit when she found freedom, she went on to free thousands of slaves… that’s my SHERO!”

The Story Behind the Show: Port Chicago 50 Premieres in Two Weeks

RIALTO, CA- The story of Freddie Meeks, a California resident, and Port Chicago a time in history; dare to remember…

It’s July 17 in Port Chicago, California, a cool summer Friday night at a munitions naval base 30 miles North of San Francisco. The year is 1944 and World War II is in full swing. According to a United States Navy report, “The actual work of loading ammunition and explosives aboard the ships was performed exclusively by Afro-Americans under the supervision of White officers and Afro-American petty officers,” and the routine assignment of Afro-American enlisted personnel to manual labor was clearly motivated by race and premised upon the mistaken notion that they were intellectually inferior and thus incapable of meeting the same standards as their white counterparts.”

But then the unspeakable happened, explosion after explosion – so fierce, it shook the ground with the force of an earthquake. Knocking out windows and shaking buildings as far east as Boulder City, Nevada. The results of the explosion at the naval facility killed or wounded 710 people, 435 of whom were African American. This single disaster accounted for more than 15 percent of all African American naval casualties during World War II.

What happened next is even more mind-boggling than the explosion itself? Following the explosion, many of the African-American survivors, expected to be granted survivors, leave before being reassigned to regular duty, but that leave was not granted, even for those who had been hospitalized. All African-American men were sent back to work loading ammunition under the same officers as before.

Fifty sailors of the United States Navy, all African-American men, refused to resume loading activities under the same conditions and were ultimately tried and convicted of mutiny for failing to obey orders. Thurgood Marshall, then chief counsel for the NAACP, was reported to state he saw no reason why the men should be tried for mutiny, which implies a mass conspiracy, rather than on lesser charges of individual subordination, and blasted the trial by stating that the defendants were being tried for mutiny “solely because of their race and color.” Virtually all of the convicted sailors were released from prison early in 1946 and were given a general discharge from the Navy “under honorable conditions.”

In 1999, Freddie Meeks was pardoned by President Bill Clinton in recognition of the injustice he suffered as one of the convicted sailors, and at the time of his pardon, Mr. Meeks said, “After all these years, the world should know what happened at Port Chicago. It should be cleared up that we did not commit mutiny, and we were charged with that because of our race”. In July 11, 2016 the Assembly Joint Resolution No. 33 was filed with the Secretary of State – it would pardon all of the members of the Port Chicago 50.

Dennis Rowe Entertainment is proud to present Port Chicago 50, a story of love for Country, the American Dream and a quest for Equality and Fairness.

Unbelievable…Emotional…Dramatic…Thought Provoking are some words audiences have used to describe Port Chicago 50. Broadway Producer Woody King, Jr. said “The actors and designers did an excellent job” and Linda Armstrong from New York’s Amsterdam News exclaimed “Everyone should see this show!”

Port Chicago 50 is a must see for everyone and will be a weekend of historical enlightenment! The powerful story is co-written by David Shackelford and Dennis Rowe, and directed by Dennis Rowe. Port Chicago 50 does use some strong language. Port Chicago 50 is presented by Dennis Rowe Entertainment from Los Angeles, California.

The play will kick off on Friday, December 1 in Rialto. To claim you discount on your tickets, please use PROMO code: “IMPROVE.”

Click here to buy your ticket!