Whitney Battle-Baptiste, director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Center and associate professor of anthropology, accepted the W.E.B. Du Bois Freedom Award for Community Service from the Berkshire County Branch of the NAACP on Nov. 3.
She and two other honorees were celebrated for their embodiment of the principles and mission of the NAACP, as well as exemplifying “strength in femininity.”
Battle-Baptiste was also the keynote speaker at the ceremony, held at the Berkshire Hills Country Club. With days to go before the midterm election and only a week after the tragic synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Battle-Baptiste delivered a message of hope, empathy and encouragement to continue the fight for equality, as well as an urgent appeal to exercise the right to vote. “The future is for those who prepare for it today,” she said, quoting Malcolm X.
Proceeds from the awards dinner will benefit a 2019 youth trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., and the NAACP branch college scholarship program.