The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 14, 2009

Pitt-Johnstown official to speak at NAACP event

The Johnstown Unit of the NAACP will hold its annual Freedom Fund Banquet on Oct. 23 at the Pasquerilla Convention Center in downtown Johnstown.

The event will begin with a social time at 5:30 p.m. and the program will start at 6.

Laura Perry-Thompson, senior officer for equity and inclusion at Pitt-Johnstown, is scheduled as guest speaker. A city native, Perry-Thompson graduated from Greater Johnstown High School in 1969.

She studied at Pitt’s Johnstown and Oakland campuses and received several degrees, including a bachelor’s in psychology and two master’s, in education in rehabilitation and social work program.

She has worked as a psychiatric social worker at Memorial Medical Center, as a counselor and adviser in the Academic Support Center at Pitt-Johnstown and as program coordinator of the Johns-town campus’ master of social work program before being named to her present position.

Perry-Thompson is on the executive committee of local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and is a Women’s Help Center board member.

The Freedom Fund Banquet is celebrating the 100th year of the founding of the national NAACP.

The civil rights organization has more than a half-million members. It was founded in 1909 by both black and white Americans in response to the violence directed against African-Americans and other crimes against minorities.

The Johnstown branch, which started in 1917, won first place four times and second place once for the Anne Hines Allen Award for “Outstanding Branch in the State of Pennsylvania” from 2001 to 2005 as well as other awards. The chapter publishes J’town NAACP’s Word, sponsors Saga of the Johnstown Schools and produces “NAACP Perspectives” on Atlantic Broadband’s channel 9 at 7 p.m. Thursdays.

Tickets to the banquet are $40.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call the NAACP at 535-6937.