Long Beach Branch NAACP Hosts 36th Founders Gala Awards Presentation & 75th Anniversary

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Long Beach Branch NAACP will turn 75 years old. The Branch was founded in 1940 by Ernest McBride, Sr., Lillie Grigsby, Zelma Lipscomb and other community activists. Immediately after the branch was chartered, they launched efforts to remove barriers of racial discrimination in housing, education, and employment. NAACP Long Beach Branch has been instrumental in eliminating many discriminatory policies and practices in the City of Long Beach. The NAACP is built on the collective courage of thousands of people of all races, nationalities and faiths united in one premise – that all men and women are created equal. From the ballot box to the boardroom, the NAACP has led the fight for civil rights and social justice.

The NAACP Long Beach Branch has many award winning programs and projects such as the Community Impact Program that promotes academic excellence, social responsibility, leadership, and community service. The Branch has received over twenty (20) Thalheimer Awards for programs, services, and publications. The Thalheimer Award is the National NAACP’s top award given to branches for outstanding achievements. The Long Beach Branch NAACP has also been recognized as one of the best branches in California.

The 2015 Long Beach Branch NAACP Founders Gala Honorees are: Lori Farrell-Harrison, Director of Finance, Long Beach Harbor Commissioner, President will receive the Zelma A. Lipscomb Award; Dr. Matais Pouncil, Dean of Student Services, West Valley College will receive the Ernest McBride, Sr. Award; Alice Robinson, Community Service will receive the Lillie V. Grigsby Award; Justin Rudd, Founder of the Community Action Team will receive the Community Service and Unity Award; Dr. Robert Nagourney is the recipient of the Trailblazer in Medicine Award. He is a renowned oncologist physician-scientist and the Medical and Laboratory Director of Rational Therapeutics; Dr. Jane Conoley, President, California State University Long Beach will receive the Higher Education Award; Christopher Steinhauser, Superintendent, LBUSD will receive the Education Award; Victor Parker, District Director, US Small Business Administration will receive the Business Award; Maiya Meeks, LB Branch NAACP Youth Council President will receive the Youth Leadership and Service Award; President’s Award Recipients are: Jack and Jill of America Inc. Long Beach Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Theta Alpha Omega Chapter, and Long Beach Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. The Lifetime Achievement Award is Long Beach Branch NAACP’s highest honor. The 2015 Lifetime Achievement recipient is Richard Gaylord, Past President of the National Association of Realtors and Past President of the California Association of REALTORS. Richard Gaylord is a RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists, and is a member of the Gaylord-Demboski Team in Long Beach.

The 2015 Founders Celebration will be dedicated to the late Henry J. Meyer, a philanthropist and businessman, and retired Judge Marcus Tucker. Henry J. Meyer was an active branch member and Scholarship Chair. Marcus Tucker, retired judge, helped the branch design the award winning American Bar Association Law Day Program in Conjunction with Keesal, Young & Logan.

This signature event will generate funds for Long Beach Branch NAACP Branch Programs such as: the Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO Program), Stay-in-School, Leadership Academy and Development Program, Scholar Dollars Program, Youth Wealth Empowerment Program, Non-Violent Conflict Resolution, Fit and Focus Camps, Discovery of the Arts, Talent Search and Development Program, Careers and Mentorship Program, Math and Science Collaboration (MESA) with CSULB, Law Day Program, Youth Entrepreneurs Program, College Internships, Get Aboard the Technology Highway, Civil Rights Violations Investigations, and Senior Services.

Event Sponsorship, Scholarship Sponsors are still needed and individual/corporate tickets are still available. You may obtain additional information from the Long Beach Branch website. The web address is www.lbcanaacp.org or contact the branch via email at mnaacp@gmail.com or telephone 562-856-7586. Naomi Rainey-Pierson is the President of the Long Beach Branch NAACP.

The NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.

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