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Christopher Ilitch Named 2023 Senior Corporate Chair

For 110 years, the Detroit Branch NAACP has advocated for economic and social equality for African Americans, voting rights, youth empowerment and more. One of the organization’s significant initiatives is its annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner, brings together thousands of people of all educational, political and business backgrounds. On May 1, the organization hosted the star-studded 67th annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner, the largest event of its kind in the country, featuring community, business and political leaders, celebrities and others. The dinner capped off a series of NAACP events throughout Detroit. 

Serving as hosts for the event were participants from the Detroit NAACP Youth Council, and ACT-SO (Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics) program, part of the NAACP Detroit Branch’s ongoing commitment to youth. The organization also highlighted local students in their 32nd annual Art and Essay contest wherein grades K-12 submitted entries under the theme, “What the Civil Rights Struggle Means to Me.” 

Corporate and community sponsors play a role in supporting the Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner. Annually, a local business leader serves as Senior Corporate Chair, joining the organization in raising awareness and support of racial equity efforts. Gary Torgow, Chairman of Huntington Bank, was this year’s Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner Senior Corporate Chair.

During the dinner, Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. was introduced as the Senior Corporate Chair of the Detroit Branch NAACP’s 68th Annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner. This role continues a long history of support for and partnership with the NAACP by the Ilitch organization. 

“We look forward to Chris and Ilitch Holdings continuing a tradition started by his father Mike Ilitch 33 years ago,” said Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, president, Detroit Branch NAACP. “His partnership will ensure that our dinner is a huge success. We know that he will greatly assist in serving as an ambassador for equal opportunity to share the important work that the Detroit Branch NAACP does which is fueled by our Freedom Fund dinner.”

Mike Ilitch served as Senior Corporate Chair in 1989, and Little Caesars was given a lifetime membership to the NAACP in 1990. In addition, the Ilitch companies have long championed NAACP and other local organizations committed to diversity, equity and inclusion through financial donations, volunteerism and other efforts. 

“I am honored to continue my parents’ legacy of supporting the NAACP and the positive impact it makes on the lives of so many in our community,” said Christopher Ilitch. “I want to thank Rev. Wendell Anthony for his partnership over the years, and I look forward to working even more closely together this year.”

For more about the Detroit Branch NAACP, visit https://www.detroitnaacp.org/67th-dinner.