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Letter from the President

Stephen C. Mays, President

Dear Members, Community Partners, Honored Guests & Friends,

It is with great pride and enthusiasm that I welcome you to our Centennial Celebration and Annual Life Membership banquet. As president of the Gary Branch, I am charged with working for civil and economic equality for not only underprivileged and underserved citizens, but all residents across Northwest Indiana. Today we honor nearly 100 new Life members who have made the commitment to partner with this branch to advance our common goals of creating the change we want to see in our community, in this state and around the nation.

We remain vigilant in fighting to secure access to housing and jobs, just as judge William Dunn and our founding members did in 1916. We recognize and promote the importance of life membership and service to our community at a high level. Dr. Benjamin Grant served this branch with passion and vigor and set a very high bar in the community regarding the critical nature of life membership in the NAACP.

Our members continue to fight for access to better education, health and environmental systems and a improved quality of life for their families. Attorney Hilbert Bradley was passionate about justice and not only applying the laws of this country but changing the laws to guarantee fair treatment and equality for African Americans and marginalized citizens. We continue to champion voter education and voting rights as a means to legal and social reform.

I want to extend a very special thank you to our honorary chairpersons, Mamon and Cynthia Powers, for their outstanding leadership and hard work for this event. Thank you to all of the branch officers and executive committee members for your dedication and commitment on a weekly and yearly basis. I want to thank the Banquet planning committee for committing their time, talent and treasure to making this Centennial celebration and Life membership banquet so successful. I am very proud to serve with all of you.

Lastly, I challenge all of my guests who are not Life members, to join with us. Let's work together to promote a better quality of life for our children and their children.

Yours in the fight for freedom,

Stephen C. Mays, President - Gary Branch

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