REPLAY THE VIDEO: Join the the celebration as the San Antonio Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), holds its annual Freedom Fund Dinner at the La Villita Assembly Hall Oct. 28.
NOWCastSA webcast the event, so you can replay the video right here.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the Nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. The San Antonio branch's Freedom Fund Dinner honors those who work to ensure equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and discrimination. This year's honorees are:
- William "Bill" Sinkin: (from Freedom Fund Dinner program) William Sinkin, 98, is the founder and Chairman of the Board of Solar San Antonio. Sinkin champions social justice, is known for having co-founded Goodwill Industries to providing employment opportunities for physically and mentally challenged people, and he chaired the San Antonio Housing Authority Board of Directors as that agency developed low-income housing.
Sinkin organized and served as Chair of the Urban Coalition of Metropolitan San Antonio, which brought minority, business, environmental, civic, and other leaders to the same table to address community issues. He also owned a bank that brought the first African-Americans into the main stream of banking employment while pursuing minority lending.
- Cary Clack: (from Freedom Fund Dinner program) Born in San Antonio, Cary Clack is a graduate of St. Gerard High School and St. Mary's University. In the summer of 1984, he was a Scholar-Intern at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta. From 1989-1995, he was a trainer in nonviolence at King Center workshops for high school and college students.
Clack wrote columns for the San Antonio SNAP and the San Antonio Informer and in June of 1994 began writing a bi-weekly column for the San Antonio Express-News. In 1998 Clack joined the Express-News editorial board, becoming the newspaper's and the city's first African-American editorial board member.
In 2009 Trinity University Press released his first book, "Clowns and Rats Scare Me: Columns by Cary Clack." He wrote his last column for the Express-news on Oct. 9 and is now the Communications Director for the Congressional campaign of state representative Joaquin Castro.
- Eugene E. Coleman: Eugene Coleman, an accomplished photojournalist, worked as a photographer while serving in the Air Force during World War II. Coleman was a leader in the movement to end segregation in San Antonio businesses and public facilities. Guadalupe College awarded Coleman an honorary doctorate in humanities, and the City of San Antonio dedicated an underpass in his name in recognition of his service to the civil rights movement.
Coleman is a co-founder of SNAP, a black-owned magazine that published news and commentary neglected by San Antonio’s mainstream media.
- Jesse Henry, Jr.: (from Freedom Fund Dinner program) Jesse Henry Jr. is a former columnist and reporter for the San Antonio Express-News. His columns were published weekly on the opinion-editorial pages from 1986 to 2003. He was the first black to pen such a column in the newspaper's long history and wrote more than 600 commentaries.
A native of San Antonio East Side's Denver Heights community, Henry focused mostly on issues concerning local politics, education and minority affairs. He often wrote about leadership and his sometimes controversial reports at times targeted high profile political and community personalities.
Prior to writing the weekly column Henry worked as a general assignments reporter at the Express-News from 1972-1976. His duties include a stint as the paper's County Courthouse reporter as well as church news page writer.
Henry is noted for founding and publishing the bi-weekly San Antonio Community Journal (later the San Antonio Journal). The small tabloid kept him in close contact with his community, as did his reports later as a contributing writer with the San Antonio Inquirer, San Antonio Register, and Observer newspapers.
- The late Kathy Clay-Little: Kathy Clay-Little, owner/publisher of a San Antonio newspaper African American Reflections and a weekly columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, died Sept. 14, 2011 at the age of 60. Clay-Little was a 1972 graduate of Oklahoma State University, where she studied broadcast journalism. In addition to running a biweekly newspaper, she owned KATC Communications public relations, event planning and marketing firm.
St. Philip's College– the nation’s only Historically Black and Hispanic Serving educational institution - will receive the Excellence in Education Award.
The guest speaker for the evening is Dr. John E. Arradondo, a Harvard University-trained medical doctor who is nationally recognized in the fields of medical education, public health and community service. Dr. Arradondo has published and speaks on health promotion, care of the aged, managed care, and the epidemics of our time: violence, HIV, substance abuse, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke.
You can view video of the event here on this page when it is live or come back and watch it later.
History of the Freedom Fund
Organized in 1918, the San Antonio Branch of the NAACP has long been in the forefront of the struggle for equality. As early as 1949, testimonial dinners were held which highlighted National and Branch accomplishments while acknowledging the efforts of members and progressive citizens who were leaders in the fight for social justice. In 1954, San Antonio accepted a challenge set by NAACP Chairman Dr. Channing H. Tobias to raise funds to eliminate state-imposed racial descrimination by launching the Freedom Fund Dinner. In the decades since, the Branch has annually honored people in the community who work tirelessly to ensure the political and educational equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination. Past honorees have come from fields as diverse as religion, sports, local/state/national elected office, medicine, small and corporate business, jurisprudence, education, and the military.
For additional information about the Freedom Fund Dinner, call Nettie Hinton at (210) 224-7636.