NAACP 4th Annual Freedom Fund Dinner

  • Steffen Gillom will be honored at this year's Freedom Fund Dinner hosted by the Windham County NAACP, which he has led as its president after helping to found the local chapter six years ago. Currently, the local chapter has more than 200 members.
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  • In a booklet to be handed out at the dinner, Gillom touts accomplishments of his group. They include sponsoring a gun safety initiative to reduce gun violence called Swords to Plowshares in Brattleboro and The Black Experience Event in Burlington; collaborating with the Windham County Dental Center for the immigrant and refugee community; facilitating access to COVID vaccines for the BIPOC community; engaging in dialogue with local and state law enforcement personnel to address community concerns; advocating for the rights of incarcerated individuals including advocacy for a BIPOC bail fund; supporting the housing and food insecure community of the Brattleboro area with advocacy and financial support; encouraging voter registration and voter turnout; and supporting future BIPOC political candidates through initiatives like the Bright Leadership Council.
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  • U.S. Rep. Becca Balint, D-Vt., will be presenting remarks at the dinner. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is invited and is anticipated to send a representative if he can't make it.
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  • Letters from other lawmakers and the governor will be read. Xusana Davis, executive director of racial equity in Vermont, also will speak.
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  • Samirah Evans will perform as part of a jazz trio.
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  • Wichi Artu, second president of the local chapter, will replace Gillom. Wood said the first president would normally assume the role but Nader Hashim also serves as a state senator and can't hold the position as an elected official.  
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  • U.S. Sen. Peter Welch, D-Vt., thanked Gillom in the booklet, stating that he appreciates "all the advice you have given me over the years."
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  • Gov. Phil Scott described Gillom as having an "influential role" and "working tirelessly to include the voices and perspectives of the most marginalized in so many different ways."
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  • Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023 at the American Legion in Brattleboro VT

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