The Morgan County Branch of the NAACP is holding its 51st Annual Freedom Fund Banquet virtually on Saturday, Oct. 23, with special keynote speaker Helen Butler, a Morgan County native with a stellar statewide reputation for her activism on behalf of civil rights, particularly voting rights.
Every year, the Morgan County NAACP honors local members with an array of awards for community service, celebrating with a dinner and speakers to deliver an uplifting message aimed at creating a better future. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the banquet will be held virtually via Zoom on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m.
Earlier this year, Butler, a former member of the Morgan County Board of Elections and Registration, was presented with the Love Award from the Voter Empowerment Collaborative for her decades-long activism dedicated to protecting and enhancing voting rights.
At age 72, Butler has no plans to slow down in her work.
“I am still going. For me, it’s about protecting the vote and educating people on how they can vote and making sure they have the help they need to get them registered and out to the polls so everyone can participate in our democracy,” said Butler in a previous interview.
Born in Buckhead and educated in Madison, Butler currently serves as the executive director of the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, a non-profit organization based in Atlanta centered around voting rights and voter education.
During her youth, she participated in marches and Civil Rights Activism throughout her youth. During her time at UGA, she established a sorority, Zeta Psi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority at UGA, that still exists today. She graduated from UGA with a Bachelor’s Degree of Business Administration with a major in accounting. After college, she worked in the private sector for General Motors as an accountant and climbed the ladder of success to become Vice President of Human Resources for retail and wholesale grocery businesses for over 20 years.
In 2000, Butler joined the NAACP Voter Fund as the 5th Congressional District coordinator and eventually served as the Georgia State Coordinator for the NAACP Voter Empowerment Program through 2002. Butler even worked alongside the former Georgia Secretary of State on a “pilot project” to improve recording methods of electronic voting.
In 2003, Butler signed on to the Coalition for the People’s Agenda, founded by Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, as the state director. Today, she is the organization’s executive director.
Butler has spearheaded the Coalition for the People’s Agenda’s “Count Me Black” program, which works to increase participation among minority communities in the U.S. Census to ensure adequate funding and fair representation for communities of color.
In addition to serving on the Morgan County Board of Elections and Registration, Butler also serves on the Board of Directors for Women’s Actions for New Directions (WAND), and The State of Georgia Help America Vote Act Advisory Committee (HAVA). In the past, she was a member of the Board of Directors for Colonial Stores’ Employees’ Credit Union, Board of Directors for YES! Atlanta (Youth Program), Founding member of the Zeta Psi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority at the University of Georgia, Advisory Board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Center Manager for Junior Achievement, Life Member of the NAACP, Vice President of Metro Atlanta Personnel Society, Society for Human Resources Management, and Industrial Relations Research Association.
To hear Butler’s keynote address, tune in virtually to the Freedom Fund Banquet on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. Sign into the Zoom app and enter the Meeting ID number: 91860150359. The passcode is 360919. To attend by phone, call: (312) 626-6799. Enter the same meeting ID code and passcode above.