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by Ann Clanton, “Speak-Up” contributor
The 108th annual Freedom Fund Breakfast sponsored by the NAACP Providence Branch took place at the Marriott Hotel on Orms Street Saturday morning.
Gubernatorial candidate Ashley Kalus, Mayoral Candidates Nirva LaFortune and Gonzalo Cuervo and former Cranston Mayor and Congressional Candidate Alan Fung led a bevy of candidates who mingled amongst attendees in the hallway and lobby of the hotel.
Last week’s Buffalo, New York shooting and deaths of 10 Black people was addressed by Senator Jack Reed, Congressman David Cicilline and Governor McKee in their remarks.
Providence College’s basketball coach, Ed Cooley, delivered the keynote address, following a week of numerous accolades including the Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year and honored with the Key to the City by Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza last Tuesday. Despite Coach Cooley vowing to bring the National Championship back to Providence next year and no discussion of retiring, the Providence Branch presented Coach Cooley with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Artistic Director at Music One and Host of “In the Spirit” Gospel Program on 95.5 WBRU 360 Sunday Mornings, led the audience in the singing of the Negro National Anthem.
Award-winning journalist and NBC 10 Weekend anchor Barbara Morse served as emcee for the Breakfast.
Ann-Allison Clanton was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. As principal of Ann Clanton Communications, Ann has more than two decades of experience as a communications and public affairs consultant. She has written features and profiles articles for the Providence American Newspaper and Ethnic Online Magazine.
Among the notable persons interviewed include former U. S. Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. Cornell West, former Florida Congressman Allen West (R-FL) and Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus first African American Ringmaster, Johnathan Lee Iverson.
Ann is the founder of the Rhode Island Black Film Festival and a founding member of the Southern New England Association of Black Journalists.
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