Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Breakfast

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This program honors the social rights activist and Minister who was a leader of the Civil Rights movement. His non-violent campaign work on behalf of all of mankind brought awareness of the dignity and rights of all human beings. With so much of his work remaining to be done, as recent events have shown, this is a particularly propitious time for us to come together and talk about what we can do to make his dream a reality.

Friday, January 12, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. at Summit View Banquet House, Holyoke, MA

Guest Speaker: Pastor Paula Alexander, Pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Community Church

Prior to the Ministry, Pastor Alexander served for 35 years as Director of Human Resources of Global Functions for Eastman Kodak, all the while studying for an undergraduate degree in Personnel Industrial Relations from Northeastern University in 1978, a Master’s Degree in Community Social Psychology from UMASS-Lowell in 1993, and in 2007, a Master of Divinity in Black Church History from Crozer Divinity School at Colgate-Rochester.

Her first ministerial service was as a Deacon at St. John’s Baptist Church in Woburn, Massachusetts. She has served as Co-leader of Women’s Ministry; Workshop leaders for the United Baptist Convention, Interstate Baptist Convention, ESRA, Mary McLeod Bethune Institute (MMBI) and National Council of Negro Women, Inc (NCNW) and Acting Executive Director of the Council of Churches of Greater Springfield. She was awarded the Mary Upton Ferrin Award by the Peabody Chamber of Commerce for the outstanding women of the year in 1997. She received the Woman of Courage and Conviction Award from the NCNW, the Distinguished Alumni Award form UMass, Lowell and Jane Lanphear (Women of the Year) Award from Eastman Kodak Corporation, as well as CEO Diversity Award, Eastman Kodak Company

Senior Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Community Church since October 2015, the Reverend Paula Alexander has spent much of her life to the cause of human rights, social action and poverty alleviation.

In August of 2017, Bethlehem Baptist Community Church organized a community picnic at lower Chestnut Park in the heart of Holyoke’s inner city. When interviewed, Pastor Paula Alexander said “People who know each other are less likely to be hostile towards each other. She said, “We’re in the middle of the community. We recognize that we don’t know all of our neighbors. So what we’re trying to do is have the opportunity to know our neighbors.”

Pastor Alexander and her husband are the proud parents of 2 children and 3 grandchildren.

Committee Co-Chairs: Gina Nelson

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Annual Holocaust Commemoration

Buchenwald-fence The Council for Human Understanding annually presents a program in memory of the millions who died in concentration camps during the Second World War.   Remembering the past is a safeguard for the present and for the future reminding us of our responsibility for each other.

CHU feels that we must remember that “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke, Anglo-Irish Statesman of the 1700’s


Committee Chair: Dolores Stein

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Human Relations Award Banquet

Center For Human Understanding2015-149 This event gives the Greater Holyoke Community an opportunity to recognize the lifetime work of an individual who exemplifies the Council’s principles that make this a better place for all to live, work and learn. Additionally, it is a time when local high school students can also be recognized for their promotion of these principles of respect to all and service to their communities.

Contact Gina Nelson for more information.

View past recipients here.

Committee Co-Chairs: Gina Nelson and Sue Ellen Panitch

Email Gina Nelson

Email Sue Ellen Panitch

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