RED BANK, NJ- On October 1, 2017 at 12:30pm, The 5th Annual T. Thomas Fortune Foundation Birthday Bash; “Welcome Home Fortune,” will take place at the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank. NJ. T. Thomas Fortune was a pioneering civil rights activist, orator, newspaper publisher and editor. He and his family lived in Red Bank and were active members of the community from 1901-1913. This National Historic Landmark is currently under construction to become the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center in the summer of 2018.
The Second-Empire style home will symbolize the legacy of Fortune, a social justice trailblazer for all people. “I believe in the divine right of man, not of caste or class,” said Fortune in 1886. In keeping with Fortune’s vision for a fair and just nation, the following honorees are individuals who exemplify the spirit of T. Thomas Fortune: Civil Rights Activist, Rev. Gilbert Caldwell, Artist, Mike Quon and Red Bank Regional High School Senior, Suubi Mondesir.
Rev. Gilbert Caldwell of the United Methodist Church, marched with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery. Rev. Caldwell’s documentary, “Selma to Stonewall,” upholds the rights of the LGBT community and is a continuation of his human rights leadership in the community of Monmouth County. Rev. Caldwell is a constant fixture at any ‘call to action’ event. He will receive the “Courage in Leadership Award.”
Mike Quon, a prolific Fair Haven-based artist whose bold, colorful and engaging brush stroke drawings and paintings bring regional landmarks and local scenes to life. Mike donates his time and artwork to help promote local nonprofits like the T. Thomas Fortune House Foundation. His lively interpretation of the Fortune House and other local African American related sites in our area will be on display at the event and available for purchase to benefit the foundation. He will receive the “Artist Appreciation Award.”
Suubi Mondesir is a honor student at Red Bank Regional High School where she is a member of the Creative Writing Academy. She has won numerous awards for her writing, including Silver Keys and Honorable Mentions from the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. She was also a featured writer for the ‘The Journal’ Magazine for her article entitled, “The Colors of a New Generation.” Mondesir joined the Foundation in 2016 as the Social Media Publicist, managing the social media platforms, creating the T. Thomas Fortune blog and assisting in various special events. She will receive the inaugural student “Fortune Teller Award.”
This year’s keynote address will be delivered by Dr. William Guzman of New Jersey City University, who is the Director of the Dr. Lee Hagan Africana Center. Prior to this appointment, he taught in the History & African American Studies Department at Florida A&M University (FAMU). He is also the book editor for the “Griot,” and was recently selected to be on the curriculum panel for the New Jersey Amistad Commission.
To purchase tickets for the “Welcome Home Fortune,” fundraiser please visit , https://welcomehomefortune.eventbrite.com
Tickets are $80. Or you can donate to the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center, by making your check payable to: The T. Thomas Fortune Foundation. P.O. Box 2248 Westside Station, Red Bank, New Jersey 07701. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter, : @TThomasFortune9 and like us on facebook, www.facebook.com/TThomasFortune9 please visit the T.Thomas Fortune blog at https://tthomasfortunehouse.wordpress.com/ to stay up to date on all things Fortune. at www.tthomasfortuneculturalcenter.org.