Community First and Everything Else Will Follow: Honoring Lou Bernieri and Rich Gorham with the 2015 Eartha Dengler History Award

On Thursday, June 18, 2015, over 150 people gathered to celebrate Lou Bernieri and Rich Gorham for over 30 years of work in Lawrence with teachers and students as they received the 2015 Earth Dengler History Award:

"Lou Bernieri and Rich Gorham have brought together their shared roots in both Phillips Academy and the city of Lawrence to develop a remarkable writing program for teachers that inspires young people to discover and draw on their own strengths. Working with teachers who are trained in both youth development and the teaching of writing, young students find their own voices, and tell their own stories. They take back the narratives of their lives and their community, and come to appreciate, perhaps for the first time, the unique value they bring to the communities they live in.

The Andover Bread Loaf (ABL) program, as it is formally known, is based at Phillips Academy and anchored in the immigrant city of Lawrence. Initially shaped by the challenges and the hopes of the city, through the guidance of Lou and Rich’s shared vision and passion, ABL has now grown to communities worldwide. Dozens of young writers are gathering weekly at El Taller / The Workshop in downtown Lawrence to share their work and their hopes. In Lawrence and beyond, hundreds of program “graduates” are helping to rebuild and transform their communities through their unlocked skills, their leadership, and their empowered understanding of who they are."

The Evening Program (download in PDF) included:

Arrival and Cocktail Hour
Music by The Wobbly Boys


Mayor Daniel Rivera, City of Lawrence (including presentation of a proclamation for each of our honorees)
Susan Grabski, Executive Director, Lawrence History Center
Armand Hyatt, General Counsel, Lawrence CommunityWorks/Union Crossing


Michael Fiato, Headmaster, Lawrence High School
Fernando R. Alonso, Director of Outreach and Summer Session, Phillips Academy
Dixie Goswami, Bread Loaf Teacher Network, Middlebury College


Nate Baez, Dariana Guerrero, Keyla Rodriguez, Edwin Santana

Award Presentation

Maria De La Cruz, Constituent Aide to Senator L'Italien (presenting citation from Senator L'Italien)
Susan Grabski (presenting a citation from U.S. Senator Niki Tsongas)
Mary Guerrero and Adele Carter, Board of Directors, Lawrence History Center

With profound gratitude to honorees Lou Bernieri and Rich Gorham, our host committee, sponsors, friends, and many others whose contributions have made the 2015 Eartha Dengler History Award Ceremony possible…Click here for a List of EVENT SPONSORS!

Thanks to Sondra Longo and Amita Kiley we were able to capture the evening in pictures. We invite you to enjoy the album on our Facebook page below! Congratulations to our Honorees Lou Bernieri and Rich Gorham!!

Honoring Lou Bernieri and Rich GorhamJune 18, 2015Union Crossing, 50 Island Street, Lawrence, MA(photo credits: Sondra Longo and Amita Kiley)

Posted by Lawrence History Center on Monday, June 22, 2015


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Founded in 1978 as the Immigrant City Archives, the mission of the Lawrence History Center is to collect, preserve, share, and animate the history and heritage of Lawrence and its people.