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Alliance 60th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Meeting

Alliance 60th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Meeting 1200 800 Alliance for Community Empowerment

There was a full house for Alliance for Community Empowerment’s 60th anniversary celebration at the Bijou Theatre on Wednesday, May 22. College scholarships were handed out to recent high school graduates, community leaders were awarded, and a documentary about the history of ABCD, Inc./Alliance premiered.

As attendees filed into the theatre, the sounds of saxophonist David Davis welcomed them.

Lamond Daniels, Chair of the Board of Directors for Alliance, greeted the audience. “I am filled with gratitude and a deep sense of pride as we celebrate a truly significant milestone in the organization’s history: 60 years,” he said.

Joseph Ganim, mayor of the city of Bridgeport, remarked on the meaningful commemoration of the 60 years of Alliance. He said, “When you get to 60 years, that is truly a commitment that spans generations. The impact of Alliance, formerly ABCD, is deep in Bridgeport. There are families and hundreds of thousands of individuals over that period of time that have been impacted in such a positive way.”

In her speech, Dr. Monette Ferguson, Executive Director of Alliance, outlined the agency’s positive impact on the greater Bridgeport community through the years, with over 1.2 million community members served since 1964.

She said, “It is Alliance’s job to meet poverty where it is and to fight it. We are proud to stand on the shoulders of others and look down a road that we are helping to shape to alleviate poverty in the towns and the lives that we touch.”

She also talked about future programming to continue Alliance’s mission, such as expanding the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Workforce Program into a registered apprenticeship program and launching the agency’s first financial wellness program in partnership with M&T Bank. Dr. Ferguson announced that Alliance is currently in discussions about acquiring a new building that will be modernized to serve as a state-of-the-art childcare facility.

Dr. Ferguson then introduced the long-awaited documentary directed by Emmy-award-winning producer Frank Borres of American View Productions. Dr. Ferguson thanked Frank for bringing her vision to life. The full documentary is below.

Dr. Ferguson and Lamond Daniels presented three Community Service Awards to community individuals and organizations. Barbara López, Executive Director of Make the Road CT, Karina Mendez, a Norwalk Volunteer, and The King’s Pantry, an emergency food pantry and feeding program in Bridgeport, were honored.

Twenty-six students were awarded college scholarships. Among the schools they will be attending are New York University, the University of Connecticut, Fairfield University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools, Dr. Carmela M. Levy-David, was also in attendance and said that the students are a reminder of why Alliance does its important work in the community every day.

“Education is the most powerful thing that we can embrace in our lives in order to change the world, in order to change our lives, and in order to serve the people around us,” she said.

A brief reception followed after the conclusion of the meeting, catered by A Pinch of Salt.

A full recording of the event is below.

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