June 16, 2022
On Friday, June 17, the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition (nbCC) will host its annual meeting and present MCLA Associate Professor of Social Work Dr. Kerri Leyda Nicoll with the MLK Day of Service Peacemaker Award. The meeting, held at Greylock WORKS in North Adams, will begin at 11:30 a.m.
The Martin Luther King Day Committee has chosen Dr. Nicoll as this year’s Peacemaker Award recipient for her work with the Williamstown CARES project. Dr. Nicoll was nominated for being extremely active in the Williamstown community at an especially difficult time. She worked with other social workers to create the Williamstown CARES project, which offers an opportunity to the community to share what community safety and well-being mean to them, in order to better inform the town on the best ways to serve the community’s needs.
This project uses a community-based participatory research framework, and Dr. Nicoll has been instrumental in making sure the research is rigorous and adheres to this framework. She volunteered her time to conceptualize this project, answer the public’s questions thoroughly and thoughtfully, and offer her expertise in the analysis of community members’ interviews.
“I am honored to receive the MLK Peacemaker Award on behalf of the Williamstown CARES project,” said Dr. Nicoll. “This project has been a community effort, developed and shepherded by an incredible group of social workers, and I truly hope that the results will open new doors for building an even stronger and more inclusive Williamstown."
Dr. Nicoll has also served on the Diversity, Inclusion, Racial Equity Committee for the Town of Williamstown, is an active volunteer in North Adams, and is passionate about many issues that affect the larger Northern Berkshire community.
“As many of you know, Kerri has been very active in our community and with the nbCC,” said MCLA President James F. Birge. “Her commitment to lifting up the people of our region, advancing local organizations, and representing MCLA in the community is inspiring. I am grateful to nbCC for recognizing Kerri with the MLK Day of Service Award — she has certainly earned it!”
The Peacemaker Award, which originated as part of the local celebration of the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr., is given annually to individuals or groups who have contributed substantially to peace in this region. The Award recognizes those who have worked with people and/or neighborhoods and communities to provide for greater tolerance, understanding, and caring. Award winners receive a certificate of recognition and their names are engraved on a Peacemaker Plaque, which is kept at the nbCC office.
In addition to the Peacemaker Award presentation, the June 17 meeting will serve to acknowledge the winners of the Northern Berkshire Hero Award, and the MLK Day student essay contest.