Newswire : Patrick Gaspard to receive prestigious NAACP Spingarn Medal


Patrick Gaspard

BALTIMORE – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the nation’s foremost civil rights organization, has announced that Ambassador Patrick Gaspard will be awarded the prestigious Spingarn Medal during the NAACP’s 110th Annual Convention taking place in Detroit, Michigan on July 24.

The award recognizes Gaspard’s lifelong commitment to equality and civil rights. Gaspard, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, moved with his parents to the United States when he was three years old. He served as political director for President Barack Obama in the White House and as the Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee, overseeing the party committee’s efforts to re-elect President Obama.
In 2013, President Obama nominated Gaspard to the post of United States ambassador to South Africa. He worked to strengthen civil society and worked in partnership with the South African government to develop the country’s healthcare infrastructure and to support innovations in local governance. He also worked to connect South African entrepreneurs to United States markets; develop clean, renewable, and efficient energy technologies; and to end wildlife trafficking.

“Patrick Gaspard is a global champion for civil and human rights. Hiscontributions to campaigns to end police brutality, improve access to affordable health care, and increase dignity for working families is unparalleled,”said Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO.For over 100 years, we have honored leaders who have served as pillars in the fight for justice and this year’s selection of the Patrick Gaspard is no exception.”
“The NAACP has been a beacon and an inspiration to me my entire life; Its leaders blazed the trails we now walk, and helped make my career, and the careers of countless other organizers and activists, possible,” said Gaspard. “The previous recipients of this incredible honor are among my greatest heroes, who showed us what dedication and the courage of our convictions could achieve. To be in their company is beyond humbling. I am enormously grateful for this recognition, and will do all that I can to try, now and in the years to come, to live up to its promise.”
“Ambassador Gaspard’s service within the Labor Movement as well as his tenure as a member of the Obama administration has always inured to the benefit of all Americans,” said Leon W. Russell, NAACP Chairman, National Board of Directors. “His service in the diplomatic corps as Ambassador to South Africa during a challenging period of that nation’s development was stellar.”
The NAACP Spingarn award was established in 1914 by the late Joel E. Spingarn then Chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors. It was given annually until his death in 1939. The medal is awarded “for the highest or noblest achievement by a living African American during the preceding year or years.” A fund to continue the award was set up by his will, thus, the NAACP has continued to present this award. Previous recipients of this award include: Mrs. Daisy Bates (Little Rock Nine), Jesse L. Jackson, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Earl G. Graves Sr., Oprah Winfrey, Cecily Tyson, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier and the Honorable Nathaniel Jones. Tickets to the Spingarn Dinner can be purchased on the NAACP Convention website here.

ABOUT NAACP 110TH CONVENTION:
Other highlights will include a Presidential Candidates Forum, a legislative session, a CEO Roundtable, LGBTQ workshop plus the highly anticipated NAACP Experience retail expo and diversity career fair. More information about the 110thAnnual NAACP National Convention, including a detailed schedule of events may be found by visiting naacpconvention.org. Media interested in covering the event should apply for press credentials here.

Newswire:  Global Citizens Fest honors Mandela legacy amidst huge crowd of Beyonce fans

Dec. 3, 2018 (GIN) – A massive turnout of die-hard fans of superstars Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z filled every available square inch of the Johannesburg FNB stadium for the closing night of the Global Citizen Festival organized to honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela and raise $1 billion to address poverty, food security, global health and other social issues. Beyonce and Jay-Z were the headline act for the standing room only closing affair that featured a 90 minute performance with the popular superstars that included a rendition of her 2008 single “Halo” accompanied by a South African choir. Those watching the show online, which also included appearances by Oprah Winfrey, Usher, Trevor Noah and Naomi Campbell, were only allowed to see 25 minutes of the two hour-plus set which caused bitter complaints across social media. Among the highlights of the free-ticketed event was a promise by billionaire Patrice Motsepe to give $250 million to support farming and agriculture in South Africa. Other major partners include Johnson & Johnson, Cisco, Nedbank, Vodacom, Big Concerts, House of Mandela, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Goalkeepers, Eldridge Industries, and Associate Partner, HP. “Global Citizens have generated commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $37.9 billion that are set to affect the lives of more than 2.25 billion people. This year alone Global Citizens have secured 29 commitments totaling over $2.9 billion that are set to affect the lives of more than 501 million people by 2030,” organizers reported. As the exhausted fans left the stadium, however, joy turned to horror as the perimeter of the area was at a standstill with major traffic congestion, lack of public transportation and an absence of security, allowing robberies, violence and complete disorder to flourish. Much of this was documented on social media. Concert-goer and witness Catherine Constantinides, director of the Miss Earth SA program, said “it was more than mugging and taking phones”. “You prayed with your life not to be stabbed, punched or brutally attacked, all of which I witnessed,” she wrote on her verified Twitter account. The charity event also left a worrying question to be answered. Who would administer the giant sums promised – the government or the donors? An answer to that question should be forthcoming.