The Branch has been "Advocating for Social Justice" under the leadership of Ms. Tony Stewart, Emeritus, Founding President of the Altadena Branch, for many years. As a tribute to her memory, and her many years of dedicated-committed leadership service in social justice, education, and civil rights advocacy, the Executive Committee changed the name of the luncheon event to commemorate and honor her by renaming the luncheon, the "Tony Stewart Freedom Fund Luncheon."
Those present included Ron Hason, NAACP National Board Member; Joe Brown, NAACP Pasadena Branch President; Dr. Sandra Thomas, Altadena Town Council President; John Gundry, Pasadena School District Superintendent, Renatta Cooper, Board President and Board Members, Dr. Elizabeth Pomeroy, Kim Kenne, Ed Honowitz and Tom Selinske; Darryl Qualls, Pasadena Police Deputy Chief, John Perez, Commander and Phlunte Riddle, Lieutenant. Honored guests were: Congresswoman, Judy Chu, 32nd Congressional District; Congressman, Adam B. Schiff; Senator Carol Liu, 21st Senate District; Assemblyman, Anthony J. Portantino, 44th District and LA County Supervisor, Mike Antonovich, who also doubled as Honorary Co-Chairs of the event; and other distinguished community leaders and guests.
The Freedom Luncheon Program, chaired by Johari DeWitt-Rogers, was designed to bring the community; and business leaders together for a festive afternoon honoring those for their personal and professional commitment to social justice. Beverly White, NBC Channel 4 News reporter and Mistress of Ceremonies, facilitated the program.
The program highlighted community honorees with Cameron Turner, Pasadena Journal Columnist and Keynote Speaker ("Turner's Two Cents"); Martin A. Gordon, Advocate for Under-served Populations; Dr. Jacqueline Jacobs, Educator; Denise Houlemard Jones, for her dedication to the development and success of the City Of Pasadena; Molly Munger, Co-Founder and Director of the Advancement Project; Betye Saar, Artist; Dr. Jack Scott, 14th Chancellor of the California Community Colleges; and Tecumseh Shackelford, Co-founder Mentoring and Partnerships for Youth Development; with special recognition going to Mr. Willis Edwards, producer and California Representative to the National Board of the NAACP.
Entertainment provided by Nolan Shaheed Trio and the Altadena NAACP ACT-SO students. Outstanding talents were exhibited by student presentations from: Alexander Levatter, violinist; Bronson Manning, oratory; Noah Smith, photography; and presentation of colors by the John Muir High Color Guard.