Barbara Bigby, President Altadena Branch NAACP and Joe Brown, President Pasadena Branch NAACP.
Pasadena Altadena Local Branches CelebratedÂ NAACP Centennial
By Xavier Higgs
The Pasadena and Altadena branches of the NAACP partnered for the first time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of their national organization.
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.
Barbara Bigby, President of the Altadena branch, was quite optimistic about the success of the venture. "It is important that we work together because we are so close."
Although they share the same mission statements there are some differences that continue to plague the two branches.
"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."
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.
Among the honorees 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, noted as he teased the crowd, the exceptional number of expensive cars they drove. 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.