NAACP Honors Berea College


NAACP Banquet Group

The Richmond-Madison County (Ky.) branch of the NAACP honored Berea College at the recent Freedom Fund Banquet.

The NAACP recognized Berea College because it was the first interracial and co-educational college in the South, and for its inclusive Christian character expressed in its motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth.”

The 2019 honorees included six individuals or couples, one organization and one institution, including Otha and Pauline Chenault; Frank Parks; Leora Hocker; Joretta Hill; Elizabeth Denny and Donald Fields; Open Concern, an outreach ministry of First Christian Church; and Berea College.

Sharyn Mitchell, a research specialist in the Berea College archives, accepted the award on behalf of the College. In her remarks, Mitchell, who is a Berea College alumna, noted parallels between the missions of Berea College and the NAACP. She also pointed out that one of the charter members of the NAACP, Julia Amanda Britton Hooks, was an early Berea College graduate, faculty member at Berea, and the grandmother of Benjamin Hooks a Civil Rights leader who later became the executive director of the NAACP.

Categories: News, Places
Tags: Accolade, Freedom Fund Banquet, NAACP, Sharyn Mitchell

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.