TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO-WAWV)– On Thursday evening, the Greater Terre Haute NAACP branch, hosted the 2023 Freedom Fund banquet to celebrate its 114th year.

The event included a dinner and an award ceremony. The keynote speaker for the event was Terre Haute native, reverend Teresa Hord Owens, the general minister and president of the Christian Church, in the United States and Canada.

Owens is a descendant of one of Indiana`s oldest free black settlements, the Lost Creek settlement in Lost Creek township. She is also a graduate of Terre Haute South Vigo high school, where she was the first black student to be named a valedictorian.

The president of the NAACP Terre Haute branch Sylvester Edwards says this event is to get the community involved with the NAACP.

“What we try to do is making sure that there is civil order within the community. We are a part of that community and we want to keep our little community happy and safe, and work with fairness in our community,” said Edwards.