Kathy A. Reddick, president of the Cambridge branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People , and Michael W. Foley, associate director of operations at MIT's Campus Activities Complex, were honored with President's Community Service Awards in a ceremony at Gray House last Tuesday.
MIT established the award in 1994 to recognize the achievements of those from both the MIT and Cambridge communities who have given their talent, time and resources to enhance the quality of life in Cambridge.
The list of award winners over the years comprises a "who's who of individuals who cherish the ties between Cambridge and MIT and understand the essential nature of how two strong partners can benefit each other's needs," said Paul Parravano, co-director of the Office of Government and Community Relations.
Foley has been at MIT for 22 years, watching over some 20,000 events and programs held on campus each year. In the process, he assists a wide range of Cambridge groups that hold activities at MIT from small meetings to large concert gatherings. Those groups are typically non-profits with limited budgets, such as the Cambridge Algebra Project, Just A Start and the Cambridge Youth Guidance Center.
Reddick, a Cambridge native, has devoted most of her career to the local community. A mother of five (including triplets) with a full-time job, she has worked for years to bring enhanced educational opportunities to Cambridge children and young adults. She helped establish the Bell Foundation, which supports tutoring and supplemental teaching for children in low-income communities, and the Butterfly program, which links tutors with elementary school children at Cambridge's Baldwin School. She also helped planning for the Benjamin Banneker School, the city's only charter school, focusing on math and science education for African-American and Latino elementary students. During her four years as head of the Cambridge branch of the NAACP, Reddick has created partnerships with the organization's college chapters and raised awareness of the impact of AIDS in the African-American community.
Several city and state officials attended the awards ceremony, including Cambridge Mayor Michael Sullivan, City Council members Ken Reeves and Denise Simmons, City Manager Robert Healy, State Rep. Alice Wolf, State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, and Bobbie D'Alessandro, superintendent of Cambridge schools.
The President's Community Service Award includes a $1,000 donation to a Cambridge-based charity of the recipient's choice. Foley's award money will go to the Cambridge Community Center, and Reddick's will go to the local chapter of the NAACP.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 20, 2002.