ALTON - The 55th Annual NAACP Branch of Alton Freedom Fund Banquet features a special keynote speaker in May - a nationally described "Attorney for Justice" - Ben Crump. The event is Saturday, May 20, 2023, at the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Meridian Ballroom at the Morris University Center, Edwardsville.

Ben CrumpA social hour takes place from 6 to 7 p.m. that evening and dinner at 7 p.m. and the keynote speaker.

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Crump has handled several high-profile cases, including Trayvon Martin, Tyre Nichols, and Earl Moore. He also represented victims in the Flint, Mich., water crises, the Johnson & Johnson powder lawsuit, and the victims of the Amazon Warehouse collapse in Edwardsville.

"I'm an unapologetic defender of black life, black liberty, and humanity," Crump said. "That's why I call myself a civil rights lawyer who believes that it's about these romantic notions of liberty and justice for all."

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The theme of this year's NAACP Freedom Fund event is "Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere."

"We are honored and thrilled to have Attorney Crump as our keynote speaker," Michael "Doc" Holliday, president of the Alton Branch of the NAACP, said. "His presence brings with it a tremendous honor and respect for our community, and his work ensures that justice is served for all people."

Crump began his career in law more than 20 years ago. He focused on civil rights litigation and discrimination cases involving race or gender bias in housing or employment opportunities. He has received numerous awards, including being named one of the "100 Most Influential People" by Time Magazine in 2021. His achievements as a civil rights leader are featured in the 2022 Netflix documentary film: "Civil: Ben Crump." Attorney Crump became the first practicing black attorney to have a law school named after him when St. Thomas University named their law school, The Benjamin L. Crump College of Law in 2023.

For more information on tickets for this upcoming event, contact Maxine Caldwell at (618) 795-5786 or Anita Banks at (618) 465-8366.

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