Governor Deval Patrick and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren Greet 2013 Freedom Fund Banquet


NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner


Greater Springfield NAACP annual banquet focuses on voter rights, need to increase minimum wage

By Suzanne McLaughlin, The Republican
on May 18, 2013

tswan ruth lovingAGAWAM – About 400 people attended the annual membership banquet of the Greater Springfield chapter of the NAACP Thursday night at Chez Josef.

The Rev. Talbert W. Swan II said that since he was elected president of the NAACP in June, 2011, the membership has increased.

“We have revitalized the brand,” he said. “We are alive and well.”

Speakers at the annual dinner focused on threats to voter rights and the need to make the minimum wage “a living wage.”

“Voters in Massachusetts are fortunate,” Swan said. He said there are efforts in other parts of the country to require photo identification to vote. Read more…


Third Annual Lift Every Voice Lecture Series

Preview of the Third Annual Lift Every Voice Lecture Series 2013

We are excited to announce the Third Annual Lift Every Voice Lecture Series in celebration of Black History Month. The series will convene each Tuesday during the month of February at 6:30 p.m. at the Spring of Hope Church, 35 Alden Street, Springfield, MA. Keynote speakers for the series include:

February 5, 2013

coqueaceCoqueace “Koco” Powell is a fighter. She is a fighter who refuses to give in, even on her toughest days fighting against breast cancer. This Dallas native graduated from Roosevelt High School and later joined the US Navy. She is also the co-founder of Sexy After 30, a foundation whose mission is to uplift those who have had various types of adversity such domestic violence, sexual abuse, teen pregnancy and more. Ms. Powell has traveled across the nation promoting awareness of Breast Cancer. On her Facebook page she takes us right along with her during her journey, from photos of her hospital room and surgery to footage at local TV stations promoting Breast Cancer Awareness.

February 12, 2013

kunjufuDr. Jawanza Kunjufu is an educational consultant with African-American Images. He is constantly on the lecture circuit with over thirty different workshops, addressing students, parents, teachers, and community residents. He has authored 33 books including national best sellers, Black Students: Middle Class Teachers; Keeping Black Boys Out of Special Education; An African Centered Response to Ruby Payne’s Poverty Theory; Raising Black Boys; and 200 Plus Educational Strategies to Teach Children of Color. His latest title is Understanding Black Male Learning Styles. His work has been featured in Ebony and Essence Magazine, and he has been a guest on BET & Oprah. Dr. Kunjufu is proud to say that he is a husband, father, and grandfather. He’s also a vegetarian and an avid tennis player and has not missed a day’s work in 36 years.

February 21, 2013

timwiseTim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the United States, and has been called, “One of the most brilliant, articulate and courageous critics of white privilege in the nation,” by best-selling author and professor Michael Eric Dyson, of Georgetown University. Wise, who was named one of “25 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World,” byUtne Reader in 2010, has spoken in all 50 states of the U.S., on over 800 college and high school campuses, and to community groups across the nation. He has also lectured internationally in Canada and Bermuda on issues of comparative racism, race and education, racism and religion, and racism in the labor market. Wise is the author of six books, including the highly acclaimed memoir, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son.

February 26, 2013

kembaKemba Smith Pradia graduated high school and continued her education at prestigious Hampton Univeristy. What happened to Kemba in her new campus environment was a nightmare. In an attempt to “fit in”, Kemba associated with the wrong crowd and became involved with a drug dealer. He was a major figure in a crack cocaine ring and drew Kemba right in the middle of his life with physical, mental and emotional abuse disguised as “love”.After enduring this turbulent four-year relationship in 1994, Kemba was sentenced to 24.5 years and served 6.5 years in a federal prison. Fortunately, she regained her freedom after President Clinton granted her clemency in December 2000. Her case drew support from across the nation and the world to reverse a disturbing trend in the rise of lengthy sentences for first time non-violent drug offenders. Her story has been featured on CNN, Nightline, Court TV, The Early Morning Show, Donahue, Judge Hatchett and a host of other television programs. In addition, Kemba has been featured in several publications such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, Glamour, JET, Emerge and Essence Magazines. Kemba’s traumatic real life experience forces today’s students to recognize that there are consequences to their life choices.

Series Host

swanPastor Talbert W. Swan, II is the pastor of the Spring of Hope Church Of God In Christ, Assistant General Secretary for the National Church Of God In Christ, National Chaplain of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., Executive Director of COGIC Family Services, an author, radio talk show host and long-time community activist. Pastor Swan has been at the forefront of civil rights issues throughout the region and the nation for over two decades. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Western New England College, an Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies from Charter Oak State College, a Master of Arts in Theology from Hartford Seminary, a Master of Divinity from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and Graduate Certificates from Hartford Seminary and Harvard Divinity School. Rev. Swan’s life’s work has been committed to the mission of ensuring the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and eliminating race-based discrimination.



2013 Lift Every Voice Black History Month Lecture Series