ALTON - The Alton Branch of the NAACP Annual Freedom Fund Banquet is set for Saturday, May 18, 2024, at the Lewis and Clark Community College Commons.

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The event will be held at the 5800 Godfrey Road in Godfrey location at L&C.

Tiffany D. Hightower, the executive director for the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, will serve as the event's keynote speaker.

Rosie Brown, an Alton Alderwoman and one of the event organizers, said she believes the banquet will be "one of the NAACP's best ever" in Alton. Brown said doors open at 5 p.m. and the dinner will start at 6 p.m.

Long-time Alton Branch of the NAACP leader James Gray will also be recognized at the event for his 90th birthday.



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Tiffany D. Hightower is a seasoned public servant with over a decade of impactful service. Currently, Tiffany is the Executive Director of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, where in under 2 years she fortified and created a programmatic pipeline with an innovative vision; she has also increased new revenues tenfold. Tiffany has served as a consultant/political strategist for a Democratic gubernatorial candidate and numerous other political candidates.

Tiffany has served as the Director of Operations for the Treasurer of the City of Chicago (Overseeing a 4.2-million-dollar budget and Human Resources). She was also the Executive Director for Developing Communities Project, Inc. – where President Barack Obama was the first Executive Director. As the Executive Director for DCP, Inc., she oversaw transportation-orientated development, environmental equities, economic empowerment, violence prevention/public safety, youth leadership, and mortgage/foreclosure advocacy. She has also served as a Deputy Director for Community Assistance Programs, focused on workforce development and corporate partnerships.

Tiffany serves as President of the Board of Social Change, Member of the Board of Directors for the Salvation Army-Metropolitan Division serving as the 2022 Co-Chair for the Civic Luncheon (raising $750,000), and Commissioner (Vice-President) for the 4th Medical District of Illinois in the Roseland neighborhood, to name a few. She also was the 21st Central Region Director of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., overseeing the programmatic, service, and social efforts for 13 states in the Midwest and 4 countries. Before that office, she was the International Communication and Public Relations Officer, including but not limited to media relations, drafting press releases, and speech writing. She has also served on Congressman Danny Davis’ Homelessness Prevention Task Force and hosted the Russ Meek Speaks Show on CAN-TV.

Previous work experience has also included being the Advocacy Programs Manager and certified domestic violence professional for a domestic violence organization on the west side of Chicago and surrounding suburbs (including Berwyn, Melrose Park, Oak Park, and etc.) Her work led to her also being a participant in the 2014: Cultivate Women of Color Leadership Cycle funded by the Chicago Foundation for Women, Crossroads Fund, Woods Fund, and Chicago Community Trust. In 2023, Shew was requested by the National Caucus of Black State Legislators to conduct a national training for elected officials and staff on how to build a Foundation Arm, work collaboratively, and create sustainable metrics to increase fundraising opportunities.

Her work and passion for the further empowerment and success of young women and girls led her to be a co-founder of the #SheWoke Committee which led to the first-ever creation of a Congressional Caucus on Black Women and first led by Congresswomen Robin Kelly, Yvette Clarke, and Bonnie Watson-Coleman in 2016. She was also a part of the 2018 IWIL (Illinois Women in Leadership Class. Hightower has received a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, studied at Johns Hopkins-Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Summer Institute on Mental Health Research, UIC-School of Public Health, St. Xavier University focused on MBA Coursework, and received a Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership from Dominican University.

Tiffany has also been featured in Rolling Out, Urban Arts, and a guest on the Michael Colyar morning show. Ms. Hightower is an outstanding orator, poet, and inspirational speaker. She has also authored articles for and Heart and Soul Magazine. She is also a member of the advisory council for I Speak Media and the 2022 Inaugural recipient for the BANboree Black Alumni of the Year, representing the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She was honored to be acknowledged by Crain’s Business Chicago as a 2022 Notable Black Leader and Executive and also by Rolling Out Magazine recipient of the 2022 Sistahs with Superpowers Award.

In March of 2023, she was chosen by the Society of Mannequins as one of the Top 10 dressed women in Chicago for her style, and civic and professional achievements. She was also recently honored by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford as an Inaugural recipient of the 2023 Bad A** Women Award. Also, she has served as the Keynote Speaker for the Peoria, Illinois (2022) and South Suburban Branch of Chicago’s (2023) NAACP Freedom Fund Banquets. Most Recently in December 2023, she organized a press conference and policy summit through her Executive Director role with the ILBCF featuring the National President of the NAACP, Ambassador Carol Mosely Braun, the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, and more (this event was captured by Fox and NBC news).

If anyone wants to purchase tickets, they can contact Maxine Caldwell at (618) 795-5786 or Rosie Brown at (618) 580-2394.

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