CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Editor's note: A clarification as been made to the story to reflect that the NAACP Corpus Christi is a civil-rights organization. Their Day Foundation is a community-focused nonprofit organization.
The NAACP Corpus Christi and a local non-profit group are holding competing fundraisers, and the leader of one of them is calling out the other.
The president of the Corpus Christi chapter of the NAACP, Jeremy Coleman, says his group has held their Freedom Fund Gala on the Saturday before the Martin Luther King Day march Downtown every year for the past 28 years.
But this year, his predecessor, Terry Mills, booked a fundraising banquet for his new organization, Their Day Foundation, on the same night and at the same time as its 52nd annual NAACP Freedom Fund Gala, which honors King and other community leaders.
Coleman voiced his frustration to reporters Thursday afternoon.
"This press conference has been called to address the false advertisement and clear the confusion that has been caused by the former NAACP President in his efforts to discredit the annual NAACP MLK Freedom Fund Gala," Coleman said in a release announcing the news conference.
Mills directed comments to the spokesperson for Their Day Foundation, who said the scheduling conflict was unintentional.
"If that’s what happened, that’s just by coincidence," Marlon Griffin said. "We didn’t even know if the NAACP was going to have a banquet."
After his press conference, Coleman wanted to make it clear that buying a ticket to Mills's event does not support the NAACP.
"The NAACP Corpus Christi, state, and nationally want our local community to know that they are two separate organizations,” he said.
The NAACP's MLK Freedom Fund Gala runs from 6:30 until 9 p.m. Jan. 15 at the American Bank Center. The event's guest speaker will be National NAACP Sr. Vice President of Member Growth and Unit Sustainability Carmen Watkins.
Their Day Foundation's Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Community Funds Banquet runs from 7 until 9 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Solomon Ortiz Center.