On Saturday, October 14th, the North San Diego County NAACP reclaimed their time at the annual Blue & Gold Freedom Fund Awards Gala. Hosted at the beautiful Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa, hundreds of attendees gathered to celebrate the richness of the NAACP and to recognize individuals for their contributions in their communities throughout North San DiegoCounty.
Robert Jenkins and Donyale Escobar gave the welcome, followed by Dexter Smiles, BET Comic View Comedian, who served as the Master of Ceremonies and dished out laughs all evening. Award recipients for the evening included: GySgt. Carlos Forney – USMC (Military Advocacy Award), Camp Pendleton; Operation Hope, Vista (Community Activism Award); Mr. Anthony Jett, Sr. (Educational Ambassador Award), CA State University San Marcos; Walker Chapel AME Church, Oceanside (Religious Service and Activism); Ms. Natasha Riley (Game Changer Award),Vista Community Clinic; Mr. Joshua Henderson (Juanita Jackson Youth Advocate Award), MiraCosta College; Ms. Chida Warren-Darby (Freedom Fighter Award), San Diego Voice & Viewpoint Newspaper; Mr. Reginald Owens (Charlesetta Allen Lifetime Achievement Award),NAACP President – Emeritus; Mrs. Bea Palmer (Youth President’s Award); GySgt. Arthur Rainey – Retired, (Man of the Year Award); Ms. Gwen Sanders (Hall of Fame Award); Mr. Robert P. Howard (Medgar Wiley Evers Award); Mrs. Cynthia Rice-Carroll (NAACP President’s Award); NAREB San Diego Chapter (Business Community Impact Award) and Mrs. Natasha Howell (Woman of the Year Award).
In her opening welcome, Satia Austin, chapter president shared that the evening was to honor and thank those who have carried on the fight, defied the odds, and helped to remove barriers. “We must also take a step back and acknowledge those who have been ripped from their families; those who will never grow to an older age due to premature means; and those living in fear of a society that has labeled them expendable. Let this evening be a reminder that even the smallest gesture can make a difference in the lives of others and an even bigger ripple in the fabric we call America.”
Though each individual honored represented a different walk of life, the commonality between them all was their desire to serve and carry out the mission of the NAACP, nationally and locally, which is “to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination,” and to “empower under-served community members with the knowledge to improve their social and economic status through advocacy, human and civil rights services.”
For more information on the North San Diego County NAACP visit their website at www.nsdcnaacp.org