The NAACP, Berkshire County Branch will host its annual Freedom Fund Awards virtually on Saturday, January 21 at 6 p.m. As part of the ceremony, the Branch recognizes community leaders whose work embodies the vision of the NAACP to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights and there is no racial hatred or racial discrimination.
- DEI Pioneer, Fred Miller will receive the W. E. B. Du Bois Freedom Fund Award;
- Nipmuc Western Massachusetts Commissioner on Indian Affairs Rhonda Anderson will receive the Indigenous Peoples Freedom Fund Award,
- and local organizer and coalition builder Kelan O’Brien will receive the Jahaira DeAlto Balenciaga Freedom Fund Award in memory of the late activist.
The yearly event raises funds to provide stipends to Black high school graduates in Berkshire county who are planning on attending college or vocational school for the following two or four years. This year, for the first time since the beginning of the Berkshire Branch’s Freedom Fund Awards Ceremony, funds are also being raised to support immigrant students. Immigrants are the only growing population in Berkshire County and the NAACP is acknowledging the growing need for financial support for students who do not qualify for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The stipends are designed to help them with the many expenses of college not covered by scholarships, from books and technology, to travel and housing expenses.
Donations may be made by individuals and organizations at any time online by using the button below and choosing “Freedom Fund” from the pulldown menu, or by mailing a check made out to NAACP Berkshire County Branch, P.O. Box 605, Pittsfield, MA 01202.
Registration is required to attend via Zoom. Register here.
This year’s keynote speaker, Fred Miller is the CEO of The Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group, Inc (KJCG). The organization was founded in 1970 and is the oldest Organization Development (OD) firm. In 1993, KJCG coined the use of inclusion as a core concept for organization cultures. Some of their current clients include Apple, DuPont, Eileen Fischer, Merck, Mobil, The City of San Diego, and United Airways.
Fred Miller is also an OD Network’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, named a Pioneer of Diversity by Profiles in Diversity Journal, and received the Forum on Workplace Inclusion’s Winds of Change award.
In 2018, Fred was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from The Sage Colleges. He has co-authored five books and numerous articles, he is a past member of the Board of Directors of Association for Talent Development, National Training Laboratories Institute, and Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.; he currently serves on the board of Day & Zimmermann.
We are honored that Fred will be here to speak with us about his life and his work around diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The event is free and open to the public via Zoom and will also be live-streamed on Pittsfield Community Television (PCTV), PCTV Select, and the Facebook pages of NAACP Berkshires and PCTV.