National NAACP President/CEO Derrick Johnson (r); former HUD Secretary Julian Castro. (Courtesy photos)

National NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson will be the keynote speaker as the NAACP Memphis Branch holds its annual Freedom Fund fundraiser virtually via ZOOM on Saturday (July 11), beginning at  11:30 a.m.

This is the first in a series of Freedom Fund events the NAACP Memphis Branch will host this year under the theme “Say Less, Do More, Vote!”

“During this time of civil unrest in this country, it is more important than ever that we hear from the national leader of the NAACP President Johnson who has been one of the most visible advocates for change and accountability in this country,” said Van Turner, Jr. President, NAACP Memphis Branch. “President Johnson will update us on NAACP activities and give us a charge for the future.”

Julian Castro, a former 2020 Candidate for President and former U. S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, will be a special guest. He also has served as mayor of San Antonio, Texas

“With an escalating assault on Black and Brown people in this country, Secretary Castro will bring a voice to the social and economic challenges we face during the current administration,” said Gale Jones Carson, the local branch’s 1st vice president.

Johnson was appointed the NAACP’s national president in 2017 after serving as vice chairman of the National NAACP Board of Directors, and NAACP Mississippi State Conference President. An attorney, Johnson has been on the frontlines fighting for civil and human rights most of his adult life.

Tickets and sponsorships are still available at Eventbrite ( Or call NAACP Memphis Branch Executive Director Vickie Terry at 901-521-1343.

The event supplies funds for the NAACP Memphis Branch.

The co-chairs for the NAACP Memphis Branch Freedom Fund series are: Tish Townes, CAO, Regional One Health; Mauricio Calvo, executive director, Latino Memphis; and Melvin Burgess Jr., Shelby County Assessor. This year’s mistress of ceremony is WREG-TV Channel 3 Anchor Stephanie Scurlock.

Freedom Fund Series sponsors include: Presenting Sponsor FedEx, Kroger, Methodist Healthcare, Tennessee Valley Authority, First Choice Sales and Marketing, First Horizon, AT&T, Southwest Tennessee Community College, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Teamsters Local 667 and The Carter Malone Group LLC.

The National Advancement for the Association for Colored People is the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. The NAACP Memphis Branch is one of the largest branches in the United States and is 103 years old. Its mission is to “ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights for all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.”