Gwen Thomas, SOC NAACP President, Mishelle Kennedy, Patrick Coleman, Sheliah Clay, and Dr. Avis Broussard
West Bloomfield, MI (BlackNews.com) -- The Southern Oakland County chapter of the NAACP celebrated its 30th anniversary last month by honoring the chapter's founder Attorney Robert Willis, and bestowing the Civil Rights Hall of Fame to (5) five contemporary community leaders who are exemplary in their fight for freedom under the civil rights movement: healthcare, economic disparities, education, the hungry, homeless and underemployed.
According to Gwen Thomas, current President of Southern Oakland County NAACP, "We are proud to honor contemporary civil rights advocates who are engaged in the movement to help our people ensure the legacy of the NAACP. The mantel has been longed passed to my generation and it's important that we recognize individuals who are trying to charter a different course of saving and empowering Black America and utilizing their resources as agents of change."
Southern Oakland County NAACP honored Sheilah Clay, President of Neighborhood Service Organization, who is spearheading a $50 million dollar project Metro-Detroit's homeless to house and President of the Farmington Hills School Board. Patrick Coleman, humanitarian and restaurateur of Beans and Cornbread in Southfield, who regularly feeds the homeless, supports numerous organizations in their community outreach efforts and who opened his restaurant up to GOTV programs throughout the 2012 election period was honored. Mishelle Kennedy, a Royal Oak Township resident and community organizer, career social worker, and a single mother of 4, got a second chance in life and hand up ten years ago and since then has not looked back and stopped helping others. Kennedy mimics the words of Fannie Lou Hammer, "I'm tired of being sick and tired". Dr. Avis Broussard, a West Bloomfield Resident and Southfield full service dentist, surgeon and humanitarian, has provided a free dental day at her practice and has provided free dental services to the uninsured for more than (9) nine years. Mr. & Mrs. John James, retired, automotive suppliers and humanitarians, of Farmington Hills who through their church Hartford Memorial Baptist Church supports the ministries for the homeless and hungry throughout Metro-Detroit. Gwen Thomas, President a resident of West Bloomfield was also recognized for her contributions to the 2012 GOTV, diversity training, forging relationships with corporate partners and extensive work with youth development.
Fieger, a senior partner and founder of the Oakland County based law firm Fieger, Fieger, Kenney, Johnson & Giroux is one of the most successful trial attorneys in the country and known for his media campaign "In My America", was the keynote speaker.
Thomas said, "We must continue to stand united until there is an equal playing field and equal liberties for African Americans who are employees, business owners, students, consumers and citizens of America".
The mission of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination, the fight for racial justice and economic parity in an effort to eliminate poverty.
The Southern Oakland County NAACP was redistricted in by the National Board and now services 15 cities in Oakland County and after 30 years, will no longer service Southfield, Farmington Hills and West Bloomfield, MI. For more information: www.socnaacp.org or 248-569-9700.
Chris Wyburn/ Gwen Thomas