Amherst Media’s 48th Annual Meeting & Social Justice Award Gala


Photo: Amherst Media

Source: Amherst Media

This year Amherst Media will combine its annual meeting, it’s 48th and the 14th Jean Haggerty Award for Community Engagement Presentation with a Social Justice Gala. The event will take place Saturday, November 18 at 7 p.m., at the Marriott Center, located on the 11th floor of the UMass Campus Center. The evening will feature end-of-the-year highlights, new board elections, the Haggerty Award presentation, dinner, dancing, and a formal announcement of plans for Amherst Media’s new building to be named the Dr. Demetria Defaye Rougeaux Shabazz Center for Media Arts. Zydalis Bauer will emcee the event which will also feature renowned poet Martin Espada, and musical artists Kalyani Jayne, Jose Gonzales, and members of Banda Criolla.

Individual tickets are $35 and $25 for seniors and students. Admission is free for Amherst Media members. Tickets and sponsorhships can be pruchased here. Memberships can be purchased here.

This year’s Haggerty Award will be presented to Vladimir Morales and Victoria Silva. Board president Vira Douangmany Cage remarked, “On behalf of the board of directors, we are thrilled to announce Victoria Silva along with her late husband Vladimir Morales will be presented with the 14th Jean Haggerty Community Engagement and Social Justice award.” She continued, “Mr. Morales was Amherst’s first Latino elected leader who was outspoken on the Amherst School Committee and beyond, who initiated and oversaw more than two decades of the Puerto Rican flag raising outside town hall and led the call for non-citizen residents to participate in local elections. Ms. Silva was an extraordinary friend, mentor and advocate to many through her work locally with Upward Bound, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Amherst school district.” She concluded, “Together, this couple went above and beyond to uplift our community here in Amherst making ripple effects far and wide with the lives they touched, the love they poured into this community and their vocal, visible and deeply impactful call for dignity and respect for everyone.”

Jean Haggerty was a former Amherst Community Television producer, board member and activist. She chaired the Council on Aging and reactivated the Ann Whalen Tenants Association. Jean was a tireless organizer, passionate about advocacy, free speech, social justice, and service. Her concern for those who have been denied an opportunity to be heard left an indelible mark in Amherst soon after her arrival from Texas in 2000. In 2009, the Jean Haggerty Award for Community Engagement and Social Justice was established in her honor. Jean joined the ancestors May 2015.

In 2010 Amherst Media (then known as Amherst Community Television) awarded the first Jean Haggerty Award for Community Engagement and Social Change to Isaac Ben-Ezra. Below is the full roster of recipients from earliest to present:

Jean Haggerty Awardees Over the Years
2010: Isaac Ben-Ezra

2011: Cynthia Brubaker

2012: Ed Severance

2013: Founders of Student News: Joshua Wolsun, Jessie Chasan-Taber, Charles Brewer & Graham Churchill.

2014: Judy Brooks

2015: Jerry Gates

2016: Rep. Ellen Story

2017: The Rotary Club

2018: Amherst League of Women Voters

2019: Mrs. Pat Ononibaku

2020: Elsie Fetterman

2021: Dr. Carlie Tartakov and Dr. Gary Tartakov

2022: CSWG: Tashina Bowman, Darius Cage, Debora Ferreira, Pat Ononibaku, Brianna Owen (co-chair), Russ Vernon-Jones, Ellisha Walker (co-chair)

2023: Vladimir Morales and Victoria Silva

New Amherst Media Headquarters
Named after Amherst Media’s fiercest leader whom we lost September 11th of this year, the new Dr. Demetria Defaye Rougeaux Shabazz Media Arts Center will be built on the corner of Main and Gray Street downtown. Outfitted with television and podcasting studios, the building will serve as a media training site for youth and community members.

Amherst Media is the longest continuous running public access station in the United States. We provide access for members to create and share media content and we broadcast unedited local government meetings to keep the public informed and engaged via our public, educational and government channels,YouTube and live streams. Our robust internship program has attracted hundreds of students over the years from area colleges where they can learn and enhance their skills in filming, broadcasting, editing, podcasting, and media relations.


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