Hilary O. Shelton, dynamic policymaker and director of the NAACP’s Washington Bureau, will deliver the keynote address at the 70th Annual Marjorie D. Wickliﬀe Freedom Fund Banquetin Fort Wayne. The event will be on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, from 6 to 9 p.m., at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The theme is “Pursuing Liberty in the Face of Injustice.”
Shelton is responsible advocating the federal public policy agenda for the nation’s largest and most widely-recognized civil rights organization. He has played an integral role in advocating for such critical issues as affirmative action, equal employment protection, access to quality education and quality healthcare, stopping gun violence, ending racial profiling, abolishing the death penalty, protecting voting rights and a myriad of other civil rights enforcement, protection and expansion issues.
Prior to leading the Washington D.C. bureau, Shelton worked as a Federal Liaison/ Assistant Director at the United Negro College Fund and Federal Policy Program Director at the United Methodist Church’s social justice agency, the General Board of Church & Society. He serves on numerous national boards, including The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, The Center for Democratic Renewal, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute.
A longtime champion for causes impacting the African American community, Shelton has won numerous awards, including the National NAACP Medgar W. Evers Award for Excellence, the highest honor bestowed upon an NAACP staff member; the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s Excellence in Advocacy Award; and the Religious Action Center’s Civil Rights Leadership Award, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The annual Freedom Fund Banquet serves a fundraiser for the Fort Wayne Allen County NAACP and aims to raise local awareness about ongoing civil rights issues. In addition to the keynote address, the event will include an awards presentation and a recap of recent accomplishments and initiatives. Jasmyn Durham, of WFFT-TV, will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies. Entertainment will be provided by Darron "Cookie" Moore, an independent jazz musician, writer and arranger. Tickets are $50 for adults, $25 for students. For more information, call 260-421-2836 or 260-740-7810.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is a multiracial, multicultural, multi-faith, multi-industry organization with more than a half-million members throughout the U.S. and beyond. The civil rights organization remains focused on pursuing justice and equality of all.