NAACP gala focuses on awards and scholarships

NAACP gala focuses on awards and scholarships
May 03
04:00 2018

Last week, the Winston-Salem Branch of the NAACP held its annual Freedom Fund Gala on the campus of Winston-Salem State University WSSU.

While the event held at the Anderson Center was headlined by state Attorney General Josh Stein, and widely attended by state and local elected officials, representatives from the Winston-Salem Police Department and candidates in the upcoming primary election from both major parties, the stars of the night were five high school seniors who will be continuing their education at various colleges across the state this fall and the other award recipients. 

Brandon Bailey and Alvin Carlisle III, both students at Atkins; Devontae Harrison, who attends East Forsyth; Evelyn Sixtos-Aguirre from North Forsyth; and Alaina Watkins from Parkland each received a $500 scholarship.

“This night gives us an opportunity to first speak to the support that we do and not only that but to make available scholarships to deserving students who soon will be heading off to various intuitions of higher learning,” said branch president Rev. Alvin Carlisle Jr.

Along with the scholarships, the local branch also awarded two “Distinguished Service” awards to Bishop Todd Fulton and the Carolina Cruisers Motorcycle Club.

Fulton, who received the Rev. Joseph T. McMillian Distinguished Service Award, is the pastor and founder of Mount Moriah Outreach Center. In 2015 Bishop Fulton served as president of the Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity. Under his direction the organization raised over $10,000 for high schools students seeking post-secondary education, and contributed $5,000 to the WSSU Gap Fund.

Members of the Carolina Cruisers were presented the Charles A. Mclean Community Service Award. Organized in 2006, the local motorcycle club of both male and female bikers is known for riding in style as well as giving back to the community. Some annual projects include; Easter egg hunts, Thanksgiving giveaways and school supply giveaways. The club is also co-sponsors of the Boston Round-Up and the annual Peace Toys for War Toys Giveaway.

A special Meritorious Award was presented to Dr. L’Tanya Joy Bailey in honor of her father, the late Beaufort Bailey.

Sticking with the theme of the night, “For Justice, We Never Sound Retreat,” during his keynote address Attorney General Stein, who is a Lifetime Member of the NAACP, discussed what the N.C. Department of Justice is doing to ensure justice for all citizens. He said, “Every day we get to go to work, me and my hundreds of colleagues, dedicated public servants, to try to protect the people of North Carolina in a host of different ways.” A major point of emphasis for Stein was improving re-entry programs for those serving time in prison. 

Stein, who served as a state senator and Senior Deputy Attorney General before being sworn in as Attorney General in 2017 said he is committed to improving the ways state prisons prepare those who are currently incarcerated for life after prison.

He said, “95 percent of people who are incarcerated today are going to get out at some point; 20,000 people left our state prisons last year alone. Equipping these folks with the tools they need to thrive during their second chance obviously is good for those people and their families, but it is good for all of us because it reduces the likelihood that any of them will reoffend.

“We all benefit when every person meets their potential and contributes to the full extent of their talents and drive,” he continued. “… I believe we must choose to do what we can to reduce the barriers to successful re-entry.

During his 20-minute address, Stein also discussed his research on pre-trial cases, the opioid epidemic and corporate accountability, and several other topics including identity theft and student loan debt.

To wrap up his address, Stein said in N.C. there are real issues that need to be addressed and elected officials should focus on solving those problems instead of engaging in “partisan gamesmanship.” He said despite a $10 million cut in the Justice Department’s budget, his office is doing everything they can to protect residents.

“When I ran for office, I ran to protect the people of North Carolina in the various ways that I’ve described. I did not run to take on the Federal Government,” Stein continued. “… We’re doing everything in our power to minimize those issues because there’s nothing more important to us than doing the work you elected me to do.”


About Author

Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors