The Chapel Hill-Carrboro chapter of the NAACP is hosting its annual Freedom Fund Banquet on Saturday, featuring activist and filmmaker Bree Newsome as this year’s keynote speaker.

Newsome went to school to become a filmmaker. But after June 27, 2015, she became known on the national scale as an activist. That day, Newsome climbed the flagpole outside the South Carolina State House and took down the Confederate flag that had flown at the site since 1961. Newsome was arrested for her action, which she calls a civil disobedience, and it sparked conversation around the country about the flag’s presence.

Newsome spoke with WCHL’s Aaron Keck ahead of her arrival in Chapel Hill this weekend. She said the Charleston mass shooting where nine black churchgoers were killed by a white supremacist just weeks before is what sparked her action. Newsome said the flag’s presence during the state’s period of mourning was disrespectful and diverted attention from conversations about what drove the murderer.

“We felt that it was really important to make a statement,” said Newsome, “if we could figure out a way to take the flag down, about how not only is completely insulting and inappropriate to fly symbols of the Confederacy and symbols of segregation but also how inappropriate it was for us to focus on the topic of the flag itself.”

Less than two weeks after Newsome scaled the flagpole, the South Carolina State House voted to lower and remove the flag from its grounds. While that was the short-term goal of her actions, Newsome said her activist group that planned the flag’s removal aimed to spark further conversation. They’re looking to continue addressing the ways the United States still allows oppression to permeate society.

“What are we doing to not only to take down symbols of racism, but also dismantle systemic racism,” asked Newsome. “That’s why once we figured out that somebody could scale to the top and take [the flag] down, I volunteered to do that.”

At the Freedom Fund Banquet, Newsome said she plans to reflect on the courage of prior generations who fought oppression and urge others to summon that courage themselves. She said she wants attendees to eventually find their own ‘flagpole moment.’

“I think that sometimes people have this vision that change only comes from doing very dramatic acts,” Newsome said, “maybe like what I did taking down the confederate flag. But [in reality], day in and day out, I’m in community with people organizing and trying to make change. That’s really how we bring about the change we’re trying to make.”

The Freedom Fund Banquet for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP will be held Saturday at the Sheraton Hotel from 6 to 9 p.m.