The Staten Island branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) honored CSI’s Charles C. Thomas, Associate Professor of Performing and Creative Arts, at its 23rd Annual William A. Morris Humanitarian Awards at its Freedom Fund Luncheon recently at LiGreci’s Staaten. Thomas received the William A. Morris Humanitarian Award, which recognizes individuals in the community who have “demonstrated commitment to the fundamental principles of the NAACP to combat racial discrimination and personify humanitarian characteristics.”

Thomas is best known at CSI for developing the Staten Island Repertory Ensemble, the College Dance Ensemble, and the annual Kwanzaa celebration, a highly anticipated sold-out event.

The luncheon was held to celebrate the 101 years of struggle for the nations “oldest, strongest, most revered, and respected” civil rights organization and to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the Staten Island branch, whose national theme is “One Nation, One Dream.” The event’s guest speaker was Hazel N. Dukes, President of the New York State Conference of NAACP branches whose leadership in the state chapter of the NAACP has been defined by her role linking business, government, and social causes.

Those who attended the event received a one-year subscription to The Crisis Magazine, the NAACP’s official publication, as well as a souvenir journal.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is this nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. According to the NAACP Website, their mission is “to ensure political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.”

By Carlo Alaimo