Watch the video of the Awards Ceremony

The yearly event raises funds to provide stipends to Black and immigrant high school graduates in Berkshire county who are planning on attending college or vocational school for the following two or four years. The stipends help with the many expenses of college not covered by scholarships: books, technology, housing expenses, and emergency use. You can donate year-round to the Freedom Fund to support students.

Award Recipients

As part of the ceremony, the Branch recognizes community leaders whose work embodies the vision of the NAACP.

W. E. B. Du Bois Award – DEI Pioneer and our Keynote Speaker, Fred Miller (he/him)

Indigenous Peoples Award – Western Massachusetts Commissioner on Indian Affairs Rhonda Anderson (she/her)

Jahaira DeAlto Balenciaga Award – Local organizer and coalition builder Kelan O’Brien (he/him)

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 organizational 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 the Association for Talent Development, National Training Laboratories Institute, and Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.; he currently serves on the board of Day & Zimmermann.