TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Attendees of the Freedom Fund Banquet hosted by the Topeka unit of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People say they are especially energized this year.
The event marked the local chapter's 99th annual conference and banquet and it was celebrated together with the Kansas State Conference. It was themed "Your Power, Your Decision - Vote!"
Keynote speaker Leon Russell, Vice Chairman of the national Board of Directors says the NAACP's mission to ensure voting rights are respected is as relevant as it has ever been with this year being an election year and given nationwide efforts to suppress the vote.
"To us the vote is the basis of freedom, it's the foundation, it's the most important right that we have. And we believe that we not only have to protect it, but engage in it," he said. He called on NAACP members to get out the vote.
Russell also spoke about the NAACP's five priorities, which include education, health, civil rights, voting rights efforts and criminal justice.