On Feb. 13, the International Civil Rights Center & Museum held its 50th annual Gala and Banquet at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, N.C. Two weeks after a winter storm forced the event to be postponed from its original date of Jan. 30, members of the RLF family, along with nearly 2,000 guests, gathered to honor the Greensboro Four, as well as community leaders, organizations and individuals for their civil and human rights achievements.
The gala followed on the heels of the Museum’s grand opening, which took place on Feb. 1. Needless to say, this year’s event was the largest in the gala’s 15-year history.
The Museum recognized Julian Bond as the 2010 recipient of the Alston-Jones International Civil and Human Rights Award; radio host Tom Joyner received the Trailblazer Award. Other awards that were presented during the evening included the Unsung Hero Award, the Sit-In Heroes Award and the Community Leadership Award. Past recipients of the Alston-Jones Award were inducted into the Museum’s Hall of Fame.
Guests were treated to musical selections by the Sweet Dreams Trio and recording artist David Wilson. Among the various speakers for the evening, noted Civil Rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. delivered an inspiring message personally thanking members of the Greensboro Four for their courage, character, and wisdom. He reminded each person in attendance of the work that has yet to take place in our nation and that “our struggle never stops.”
All in all, the event turned out to be quite nice and RLF, like many others that evening, stepped out in style. It was impressive to see so many people come dressed in the ultimate of formal attire; the gala resembled something quite similar to a red carpet affair.
2010 has already proven to be quite the year for the International Civil Rights Center & Museum. If next year’s gala is anything like this one, then I’m already looking forward to being there, dressed and ready to have a good time: Hollywood style.