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Springfield Museums Announce 2016 Ubora and Ahadi Award Winners

The African Hall Subcommittee of the Springfield Museums will present the 25th annual Ubora Award and the 7th annual Ahadi Youth Award at a ceremony on Saturday, September 17, at 6 p.m. at the Michele & Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts.  

The Ubora Award, named for the Swahili word for “excellence,” is presented to an African American who has made a significant contribution to the greater Springfield area. The Ahadi Youth Award is presented to an African American young person who demonstrates strong character, leadership, academic achievement, and future potential (Ahadi means “promise” in Swahili).

Ubora Award Winner Helen Caulton-Harris is the currently the Commissioner of the Division of Health and Human Services for the City of Springfield. In her many years of public service, Ms. Caulton-Harris has played a prominent role in developing policy for the health and human services needs of underserved populations on the local and national level. In recognition of those efforts, she has received numerous awards including the AIDS Action Award from the Action Committee and the Rebecca Lee Award from the Harvard School of Public Health. Ms. Caulton-Harris was named Women of the Year by the Springfield Postal Service and received the Paul Revere Award from the Massachusetts Public Health Association. In 2015 she selected as one of the 100 Outstanding of Women of Color from Western Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Previously, Ms. Caulton-Harris was appointed by former Governor Deval Patrick to both the Public Health and Food Policy Councils for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and was also appointed to the Region 1 Health Council by the Secretary of Minority Health in Washington D.C.

Ms. Caulton-Harris is the immediate past chair of both AAA of Pioneer Valley and Holyoke Community College, having held both chairmanships simultaneously. She is also a past president of the Greater Springfield Chapter of the Links, Inc., a life member of the Carl L. Talbot VFW Ladies Auxiliary, and a member XI XI Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; and the GirlFriends, Inc.

Ahadi winner David Bass is entering his junior year at Putnam Vocational High School, where he has distinguished himself as an outstanding student in both the classroom and the community. David has held perfect attendance and highest honors in his first two years of high school, and currently has a 3.9 GPA.  A founder and active participant in Putnam’s Intellectuals Debate Club, David is an outstanding public speaker and communicator, and was elected President by the Class of 2018. He has participated in every volunteer opportunity offered by his school this year, and assisted the Putnam's Voice outreach group with their annual clothing, canned food, and toy drives as well as neighborhood cleanups. He is also part of the Project Purple volunteer group that seeks to curtail teen drug and alcohol abuse, and a member of Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni's 2016 Youth Advisory Board. David is part of Putnam’s Marketing and Real Estate program, and plans to embark on a career in real estate following his graduation.

The Ubora and Ahadi Award presentations will be followed by a reception at the Springfield Science Museum, with food and refreshments provided through support from Baystate Health Systems. Admission to the event is $15 for adults and $10 for children under 12. For information or advance reservations, call 413-263-6800, ext. 325.

Information courtesy of the Springfield Museums. For more information please visit:

Page last updated:  Thursday, September 2, 2021 10:30 am