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Columbia NAACP to Host 2019 Freedom Fund Awards Gala

Federal Judge Richard M. Gergel, who presided over the Dylann Roof trial, to be keynote speaker.

The Columbia Branch NAACP is pleased to announce Judge Richard M. Gergel, United States District Judge for the District of South Carolina will be the Keynote Speaker for the 2019 Columbia Branch NAACP Freedom Fund Awards Gala. Judge Gergel was appointed to the bench by former President Barack Obama in 2010.

The gala will be held on Thursday, September 19, 2019, 7:00 p.m. at the Brookland Baptist Church’s Banquet & Convention Center, located at 1066 Sunset Boulevard in West Columbia, SC. The gala will recognize individuals for their service and commitment to the community.

Richard Mark Gergel is a native of Columbia, South Carolina. He is a product of Richland School District Number One’s schools. Gergel is a scholar on NAACP history and an avid Civil Rights Attorney. Gergel was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the United States Senate. He presided over the trial of Dylann Roof, the killer of nine members of Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church. He sentenced Roof to death.

Columbia NAACP President Oveta Glover said, “It brings me great pride and excitement for the branch to host Judge Richard M. Gergel. It will bring a community together, show unity, and show that the Columbia Branch is reaching out and encompassing the entire community. This year’s theme is Empower, Inspire, and Educate’ – we are empowered from the past, inspired for today and educated for the future.

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