BOSTON — Three nonprofit organizations from the Berkshires were among the 30 nonprofits honored at the State House for Nonprofit Awareness Day, June 27, presented by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) and Citizens Bank. The highlight of the annual celebration, the Nonprofit Excellence Awards, were presented to seven nonprofit organizations and employees that exemplify the most innovative, creative and effective work being done throughout the Commonwealth. Nicole Eigbrett, Community Outreach Director at Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, was one of five finalists in the Excellence by a Young Nonprofit Professional award. Multicultural Bridge and WAM Theatre were two of the four finalists in the Excellence by a Small Nonprofit award. 200 nominations were received in the seven award categories, a new record, according to MNN.
The three finalists were proud to represent the Berkshires at the award ceremony in Boston and hope that a greater number of our 984 Berkshire nonprofits will be finalists for next year’s awards.
“I’m honored and humbled to represent the Berkshires in this outstanding group of young professionals,” says Eigbrett. “It’s a testament to how working hard and diving into this community, even if you’re a newcomer, can make a true impact. Central Berkshire Habitat has granted me an amazing array of connections, from neighborhood residents to legislators.”
“This is a five year prediction come true! In 2011, at a WAM Board Retreat, we were asked to answer to the following question “in 5 years, you are being given an award- what is it for and where is it being given to you? After some thought I said ‘It’s being given to us at the Massachusetts State House and its for WAM’s unique mission of using theatre to benefit women and girls” shared Kristen van Ginhoven, Artistic Director of WAM Theatre. “WAM is so honored to be celebrated by these awards and to be listed alongside these other incredible non-profits doing social service and social justice work, including our close colleagues in the Berkshires!”
This year, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stan Rosenberg, along with hundreds of nonprofit and business leaders, plus elected officials, celebrated the work of the nonprofit sector and raise awareness of causes throughout the state. Massachusetts was the first state in the country to have an annual Nonprofit Awareness Day, which was recognized and signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick in 2008.
About Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity
Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization that builds strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter.
Founded in 1992, Central Berkshire Habitat is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, visitwww.BerkshireHabitat.org.
About Multicultural BRIDGE
Multicultural BRIDGE is honored to be recognized for our mission of striving for social and racial justice in a holistic, positive systems approach working with children in schools along with their faculty and parents and training corporate, non-profit and municipal employees. In bridging the voices of unheard and underrepresented communities and their issues to the organizations, policymakers and fellow residents of our greater communities in order to build a unified thriving community, BRIDGE has excelled at catalyzing change and healing communities one person at a time and fortifying organizations one cultural competence skill at a time. Gwendolyn VanSant, CEO and Founding Director, Board Chair DR. Eden-Renee Hayes and JV Hampton VanSant, Youth Engagement and Social Networking Coordinator all gathered at the State House to represent this community-based organization. Gwendolyn states, “This recognition as a finalist represents the Berkshires and our efforts to be the best rural county we can be excelling in our connection and collaboration.” Often BRIDGE is utilized across the Commonwealth and outside within our neighboring states and is recognized in the criminal justice text book,Understanding Hate Crimes by Dr. Petrosino, and by other researchers in social issues, positive psychology and racial justice.
Multicultural BRIDGE will be presenting two of its cultural competence workshops, “A Cultural Literacy Toolbox: Developing Culturally Proficient Practices” AND “Cultural Competence for a Multigenerational Workforce” have been selected for the 2016 Massachusetts Nonprofit Network Annual Conference. BRIDGE was selected to run 2 out of 25 of the MNN workshops out of over 70 proposals. Informed as a certified SDP as a minority and women run non-profit, this work is crucial to the success of our non-profits in serving our communities during these politically charged times of activism and change. For more SDP information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call 413-717-8164. www.multiculturalbridge.org
About WAM Theatre
Based in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, WAM Theatre was co-founded in 2010 by Canadian director, actor, educator, and producer Kristen van Ginhoven to create professional theatrical events for everyone, with a focus on women theatre artists and/or stories of women and girls.
WAM Theatre also has a philanthropic mission, inspired by the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and donates a portion of the proceeds from its theatrical events to organizations that benefit women and girls.
Over the past five years, WAM Theatre has donated more than $15,000 to seven nonprofit organizations and provided paid work to more than 100 theatre artists. In addition to the main stage productions and special events, WAM Theatre’s activities include a comprehensive educational outreach program and the Fresh Takes Play Reading Series. For more information, visitwww.WAMTheatre.com.