NAACP president to speak at Salt Lake banquet

Published: Monday, Sept. 9 2013 4:18 p.m. MDT

NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous speaks at the Let Freedom Ring ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Jealous will be the keynote speaker at the Salt Lake Branch's 94th annual Life Membership and Freedom Fund Banquet.

Carolyn Kaster, Associated Press

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SALT LAKE CITY — NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Jealous will be the keynote speaker at the Salt Lake Branch's 94th annual Life Membership and Freedom Fund Banquet.

Jealous was appointed to lead the civil rights organization in 2008. He has opened national programs on education, health and environmental justice. He has also greatly increased the organization’s capacity to work on issues related to the economy, and register and mobilize voters.

A Rhodes Scholar, Jealous is a graduate of Columbia and Oxford University, the past president of the Rosenberg Foundation and served as the founding director of Amnesty International’s U.S. Human Rights Program.

"We are delighted to have President Jealous keynote our banquet and this will be his first time as our speaker," NAACP Salt Lake Branch President Jeanetta Williams said.

The event is 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at the Little America Hotel, 500 S. Main. Banquet tickets are $90 for nonmembers and $60 for members; $900 for a bronze-level table that seats 10; $1,200 for a silver-level table that seats 10; $1,500 for a gold-level table that seats 10; and $1,800 for a platinum-level table that seats 10. All table tickets include individual NAACP memberships.

Attorney Alain Balmanno will receive the Albert Fritz Civil Rights Worker of the Year Award for his legal work with the Salt Lake Branch. Balmanno serves on the NAACP Salt Lake Branch Legal Redress Committee and the Veterans Affairs Committee. He has litigated fair housing cases on behalf of the NAACP and worked with a major county in Utah to develop affordable housing ordinances. Balmanno serves on the BYU law school alumni board and the board of the University of Utah Delta Sigma Phi fraternity.

The branch will also recognize the life of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers. In 1954, Evers became the first state field secretary of the NAACP in Mississippi. He organized voter-registration efforts, demonstrations and economic boycotts of companies that practiced discrimination. Evers also worked to investigate crimes perpetrated against blacks. On June 12, 1963, he was assassinated outside of his home in Jackson, Miss.

Purchase tickets by calling the NAACP Salt Lake Branch at 801-250-5088 or emailing jdwnaacp@att.net.

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