The Jackson County NAACP branch will hold the Humanitarian Awards Celebration from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, at First United Methodist Church, 77 Jackson St. in Sylva.

The branch established the biennial awards in 2015 to recognize the outstanding community contributions by individuals and organizations who embody the principles of equity and fairness in their relationships with others and are based in Jackson, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Macon or Swain counties.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, Oct. 15. Nomination forms can be found at or requested from Community members can also support the awards through sponsorships at various levels.

The 2021 Awards and Branch theme, “Journey to Freedom Together,” is inspired by the Jackson County NAACP’s partnership with other Western North Carolina organizations to bring the 9 foot, 2,400 lb bronze Harriet Tubman sculpture “Journey to Freedom” to Bridge Park in Sylva for a three-month showing. The sculpture was created by Academy and Emmy Award-winning Wesley Wofford from Cashiers.

Dana Murray Patterson, president of the Jackson County NAACP Branch applauds these partnerships.

“As the branch worked with other local organizations and individuals to bring the Harriet Tubman sculpture to Sylva, I was amazed at the generosity of spirit in this community,” she said. “The Humanitarian Awards will allow our branch to recognize, in an intentional way, the good work being done in Western North Carolina.”

Prior Humanitarian Award individual winners include Ron Fisher, David Trigg, Ellerna Forney, Mary Herr and Veronica Nicholas. Organizational winners include Vecinos Farmworker Health Program, Circles of Jackson County, St. John’s Episcopal Church Garden Ministry and The Community Table.

For more information, contact the Jackson County NAACP Branch at, 331-1803, or visit the website at