ESSEX COUNTY, NJ --The Montclair Branch of the NAACP is excited to announce that the esteemed Thurgood Marshall Award for 2019 will be presented to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II on Friday, October 25.  

The event will take place at the Hanover Manor located at 16 Eagle Rock Avenue in East Hanover from 6:30-11pm.

In 2018, Governor Phil Murphy appointed Stephens Acting Prosecutor in the Essex County vicinage (a population of nearly 800,000 residents). His professional career of over 30 years has involved an established private law practice, six judicial appointments; Eastern Region Attorney for Burroughs (Unisys) Corporation, Corporation Counsel for the City of East Orange; and Surrogate of Essex County for nearly a decade.  Stephens is a graduate of Glassboro State College and Seton Hall University School of Law where he earned his Juris Doctorate Degree.  

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Ted Stephens who is a life-long resident of Essex County has been an extraordinary role model not only to aspiring law students but to those engaged in community-based forums as well.  He is the past Chairman of the East Orange YMCA Board of Managers; a paralegal instructor at Farleigh Dickinson University; and a Past Grand Polaris (International President) of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., a social service organization with approximately 30,000 members.  

Other local leaders receiving recognition during the event include: Lori Wood Montague, for business; Rufus Johnson, Essex County Freeholder, for legislative; Florey Cruz-Cerpa of Hackensack UMC Mountainside, for community service; Jesse Branson, Jr., Religious Affairs; Anne Mernin, of St. Luke's, for community service; Diane Tyree-Anglin, for education; and Terrence Scantlebury, of American Legion Crawford Crews Post 251, for Armed Services. 

Alaprentia Snead will be the Junior Emcee.

Rhonda Fischer, daughter of NAACP President Albert Pelham, and Chief Operating Officer at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, will deliver the keynote address at the Thurgood Marshall Dinner. Ms. Fischer who is a graduate of Montclair High School, earned a B.S. in Finance and Marketing at the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, and an M.B.A. at the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University.  Prior to her role at the Tepper School, Rhonda served as the Chief Operating Officer of the East Lake Foundation, a community revitalization organization in Atlanta, GA.  At Tepper, Ms. Fischer is responsible for the effective management of the school’s administrative functions – including Finance, Computing, Building Operations and Institutional Research.  She is responsible for overall management of over 100 staff members and execution of the school’s strategic priorities.              

For more information regarding the Thurgood Marshall Freedom Fund Dinner & Awards Ceremony, contact, or