LANSING, Mich., April 22, 2022 — Yesterday, the Detroit NAACP announced that state Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) will receive a Great Expectations Award at this year’s Freedom Fund Dinner. The award honors Anthony, a member of the Lansing NAACP who previously led the charge to reestablish the branch at Central Michigan University, for introducing the CROWN Act, which would expand state law to recognize a person’s hair as a characteristic of race. Consequently, it would ban policies that discriminate based on hair texture and protective hairstyles, such as braids, locs and twists, that have been historically associated with race. 

“I’m honored to receive an award from an organization with such a storied history,” Anthony said. “The Detroit NAACP has won so many pivotal victories in the fight against discrimination in our state for now over a hundred years, and yet there’s still so much work to be done. It’s our collective responsibility to continue the fight against the forces of complacency, bias and prejudice that stand in the way of a more equitable, free and just society for all.”

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed its own version of the CROWN Act. Anthony’s bill awaits a hearing in the state House Judiciary Committee.

Other honorees at the Freedom Fund Dinner include: 

  • Judge Cynthia Stephens, formerly of the Michigan Court of Appeals, who will receive the Ida B. Wells award.
  • Christian Smalls, president of Amazon Labor Union, who will also receive a Great Expectations Award.
  • Gary Torgow, chairman of Huntington Bank, who will receive the James Weldon Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award.

The dinner will be held at Huntington Place at 1 Washington Blvd. in Detroit on May 1 from 5-8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.