Ford Freedom Unsung “Teacher Heroes of Covid-19” Award Winners Announced


( ENSPIRE Feature ) National Winners of the Ford Freedom Unsung Teacher Heroes Recognized for Their Dedication During Covid-19

ENSPIRE Contributor: Keegan Kerns

On November 10th, 25 U.S. educators were honored by Ford Motor Company for their extraordinary effort and dedication to reaching and teaching their students during tumultuous times. These educators comprised the Ford Freedom Unsung “Teacher Heroes of COVID-19.” They were chosen out of the public’s nominations of K-12 teachers who went above and beyond in their teaching efforts despite the difficulties of virtual learning and other hardships of the pandemic. 

Ford Freedom Unsung is an annual award series that celebrates ordinary individuals doing extraordinary acts in the African American community. The event, held at the Global Automotive Summit in Detroit and sponsored by the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, presented winners with a $1,000 award along with a separate award to buy resources for the teachers’ classrooms. 

Pamela Alexander, director of Community Development for the Ford Motor Company Fund, commented on the goal of the program, stating that “African American communities nationwide have been disproportionately hit by COVID-19, and yet, amid the devastation wrought by the pandemic there are stories of teachers who’ve exhibited extraordinary acts of humanity. We are honored to salute these heroic educators who’ve worked selflessly during this challenging time.”

The 2021 Ford Freedom Unsung “Teacher Heroes of COVID-19” Award recipients and the communities they serve are:

Chelsea Adams              Knightdale, NC

Sasha  Bass                 Jacksonville, FL         

Neidra Ellen Berry          Davenport, FL

Pamela Price Brown           Charlottesville, VA     

Juel Copeland                     Escondido, CA           

Dekonti Davies               Greensboro, NC        

Kimberly Edwards           Madison, AL

Micah Edwards               Hockessin, DE

Priscilla Floyd                     Chesapeake, VA        

Joelle Gentner                     New Orleans, LA       

Schrildea Glover             Terrell, TX      

Pam Grant                      Rochester, NY

Erik Hines                        Sumter, SC    

Janette Jones                     Birmingham, AL         

Lisa M. Long                     Detroit, MI      

Dr. Althea Penn              Snellville, GA 

Justin Phillips                      Statesville, NC           

Shannan Pike-Murray         Poughkeepsie, NY     

Dr. April L. Price             Chicago, IL     

Jacob Rangel                      Chicago, IL     

Kia Smith                         Sumter, SC    

Samantha Dawn Smith       Sumter, SC    

Edwina Lynn Walton           Los Angeles, CA        

Katina  White                       Little Rock, AR           

Danyale Woods              Chicago, IL   

While these 25 educators have gone above and beyond in their dedication to their jobs and their students, it’s important to recognize the dedication of all educators during these tumultuous times. They are a cornerstone of every community and society, and we should all take the time to recognize in some special way the teachers who have struggled during these difficult times so that future generations can continue to learn and grow.

You can read more about the Ford Freedom Unsung award series here as well as the Ford Motor Company Fund here.

Related Articles: Teacher Heroes During Covid-19 Recognized By Ford and Rainbow PUSH