Dubuque 33rd Annual Freedom Fund Banquet


The keynote speaker at the Freedom Banquet will be Umaru Balde, who was named Director of the Multicultural Family Center on June 1. Balde has a remarkable personal story to tell. Pressed into religious service as a child, he had experiences as a child slave, a child soldier, a political activist, an exile, and a refugee.  Balde has lived in eight countries across the globe and has extensive experience working with diverse population in a variety of settings. Balde is fluent in more than 10 languages and dialects including English, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, French and HebrewBalde comes to Dubuque after most recently serving as an investigator for the City of Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission. Previously, he was the assistant director of the Latino and Multicultural Services Department with the YWCA of Black Hawk County in Waterloo.  Other experience includes serving as admissions representative for diverse populations for Hawkeye Community College as well as an educational counselor for the TRIO Educational Opportunity Center at the University of Northern Iowa.   

Balde is a member of the board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and is vice president of the board of directors of the Iowa United Nations Association. He is a United Nations-certified diplomatic negotiator and is the cofounder of the Cedar Valley Advocates for Immigration and Refugee Rights (CV-AIRR).  Balde is also a civil mediator and has taught English as a second language as a volunteer for the last eight years.   

Balde holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa in political science (social and behavioral science) and a master’s degree in higher education leadership.  He also attended the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, for Hebrew language studies and Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, where he received a bachelor’s degree in languages and translation and master’s degree in philosophy (comparative religions). In addition, Balde is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Northern Iowa.


Monies raised from the Freedom Fund banquet provide the operating funding for Dubuque Branch NAACP, as well as supporting the annual MLK Essay Tribute and our Minority Scholarship program. 

If you wish to attend the Freedom Fund banquet, you can complete the form below and mail a check to Dubuque NAACP, PO BOX 1012, Dubuque, Iowa 52004-1012 by 31 October 2022, or you can pay online at our ActBlue page: Here

Ticket Prices

  • Youth $30
  • Adult $40
  • Table $320
  • Membership + Freedom Fund Ticket $60 (a $5 savings)

If you wish to attend the Freedom Fund banquet, please make reservations online on our ActBlue page: Here

On behalf of the Dubuque Branch of the NAACP Freedom Fund Committee, thank you in advance for your support

If you can not afford to go to the Freedom Fund but would still like to attend, please fill out “Form #1: below, all others fill out “Form #2”.

Form #1- 

Form #2-