Parties & Openings
Feb. 10 – Hudson
BlkQueer Romantics Reception
Feb. 3 – Hudson
Jan. 25 – North Adams
The 50 Card Project Reception
Celebration, Renewed Commitment At Berkshires NAACP Dinner
Amy Krzanik reports from Pittsfield. Some people would have you believe that we are living through the worst time in America’s history. The present, however, is best viewed through the lens of the past. Anti-racism activist and writer Tim Wise discussed this topic and others during his keynote speech at the NAACP Berkshire County Branch’s annual Freedom Fund Awards Dinner on Saturday, Nov. 4 at Itam Lodge. The United States has always had a racism problem, and through worse times than these, people have banded together to fight against it. There’s no reason to stop now. To that end, the NAACP honored three local leaders who show us how that can be done. Wray Gunn, Sr. received the Paul Robeson Freedom Award for his lifetime commitment to the Berkshires and his work with the African-American Heritage Trail, Clinton Church Restoration, Friends of DuBois committee and the Sheffield Historical Society. Shirley Edgerton received the Mary McLeod Bethune Freedom Award for co-founding the Rites of Passage and Empowerment (R.O.P.E.) program for girls, being an active member of the local Women of Color Giving Circle and the Lift Ev’ry Voice Festival, and for her work as a cultural competency coach for the Pittsfield Public Schools. The Chaney, Goodman, Schwerner Freedom Award was given to John Bissell, president and CEO of Greylock Federal Credit Union, to honor his work as a true community partner instrumental in making sure opportunities are available to all. Proceeds from the dinner benefit area students through college scholarships and an upcoming trip to the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C. [Shown left, Tim Wise and Berkshires NAACP president Dennis Powell.]
Wray Gunn with Carol Stroll and Lenny Kates; Shirley Edgerton and her daughter, Jernee Edgerton.
AJ Enchill, a district aide for Mass. State Senator Adam Hinds, with Catherine Van Bramer, an executive assistant to Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, and city councilor Pete White; Brett Westbrook and Roberta McCullough-Dews.
Gisselle and Tariq Pinkston; Roberta Russell, Carolyn Oppenheim, Bonnie MacCracken and Mass. State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier.
Mass. State Representative Smitty Pignatelli with Allyce Najimy, and Pittsfield city councilors Melissa Mazzeo and Tony Simonelli; Luci Leonard, an advisor for Multicultural BRIDGE and attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud.