In a show of unity, the Altadena and Pasadena branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held a joint banquet for the first time to commemorate their national centennial anniversary.
The idea to bring these two organizations together for a joint fundraiser was conceived by both branch presidents. Their objective was to pull the diverse communities of Altadena and Pasadena together for a social event.
"This night is special because the two branches have finally realized that there is strength in numbers," said Joe Brown, President of the Pasadena branch. "We have been working towards this for many years." Barbara Bigby, President of the Altadena branch, was just as optimistic. "It is important that we work together because we are so close."
Both Brown and Bigby agreed to combine their banquets because a struggling economy has created hardships for everyone in this community.
They also agree that if the local NAACP branches can come together the community will follow. One of the many highlights of the evening was O. Oliver Goodall, a Tuskegee Airman, who accepted the Rosa Parks Legendary Award. The event's keynote speaker, Hilary O. Sheldon, Senior Vice President for Advocacy Director NAACP Washington Bureau, lightheartedly remarked about the expensive cars driven by many of the guest. Later in his speech he was more serious and addressed the inadequacies of the criminal justice system towards Blacks. He also mentioned the NAACP unapologetically supports health care reform.
The honorees for the banquet included Constance Rice, Thurgood Marshall Centennial Award; William Galloway, Stephen Ralph, and Mitch Dorger, Walter White Community Award; Jalal Sudan, Delano Yarbrough, Roy Wilkins President's Award; Rev. Dr. Johnie Carlisle, A.R. Shattuck Faith Award; Anthony "Tony" Stewart, Versie Mae Richardson, O. Oliver Goodall, Rosa Parks Legendary Award.