ELIZABETH, NJ - On Saturday, Feb. 10, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders will recognize lifelong Elizabeth resident Kim Nesbitt Good with the annual Chester Holmes Humanitarian Award during a Black History Month celebration at the historic Union County Performing Arts Center, 1601 Irving Street in Rahway. The award was created by the Freeholder Board in honor of the late former Freeholder Chester Holmes. 

The event will begin at 8 p.m. and will feature a free concert-style performance of the iconic American opera Porgy and Bess, by composer George Gershwin with a libretto written by author DuBose Heyward and lyricist Ira Gershwin, presented by the Freeholder Board and the City of Rahway with support from SUEZ and Covanta Energy.

“Ms. Nesbitt Good represents Union County at its best and brightest,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “Her persistent fight for justice and equality motivates us all to keep working to make our Union County community stronger every day. Kim is a great friend, and she is someone who is widely admired for her advocacy work. She is a powerful voice for all, fostering goodwill throughout the community and reminding of us of the importance of giving back.”

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“Ms. Nesbitt Good has touched thousands of lives here in Union County and beyond, with an unflagging determination to help others reach their full potential,” said Freeholder Mohamed Jalloh, who is the Freeholder Liaison to the Performing Arts Center. “She is an inspiration and role model for us all.”

“Chester Holmes was legendary for his actions on behalf of the community and I know he would be very proud of Ms. Nesbitt Good, who pursues her goals with outstanding passion and energy,” said Freeholder Linda Carter, who is the Freeholder liaison to the Advisory Board on the Status of Minorities.

“Ms. Nesbitt Good is a phenomenal public servant and business leader who understands our community can rise together, when we turn our attention to teaching, guiding and leading,” said Freeholder Angela Garretson. “She is truly visionary and unites so many, and it is truly an honor to recognize her with the Chester Holmes Award.”

Ms. Nesbitt Good is the proprietor of the Nesbitt Funeral Home in Elizabeth with her husband of 39 years, Ted. They are the proud parents of two children, Lawrence and Leah.

With a long list of awards and advanced degrees to her name, Ms. Nesbitt Good is listed in Who’s Who among Americans, Who’s Who Among African American Funeral Directors and Who’s Who Among Entrepreneurs.

Nesbitt Good’s insistence on the highest standards in her profession is matched by her unstinting efforts on behalf of the African American community in and around Union County. She has been honored by scores of local, state, federal and national organizations, highlighted by receiving the Presidential Pin from President Barack Obama in recognition of her extraordinary service to others.

Nesbitt Good is the co-founder of “Friends,” an organization of Black Women committed to uplifting the Black Community, and the founder of Friends of the New Jersey Legacy Foundation, whose mission is to acknowledge the legacy of African Americans in New Jersey. Under the leadership of President Obama and Mr. Thabiti Boone, Nesbitt Good was the founder of the Union County New Jersey Fatherhood Initiative Foundation which aims to promote responsible fatherhood and healthy relationships.

With the late Congressman Donald M. Payne Sr. and Senator Raymond Lesniak, Ms. Nesbitt Good lead the effort to establish the only monument in the United States memorializing earthquake victims in Haiti, located at Rosehill Cemetery in Linden.

She has hosted the largest Juneteenth Celebration in the State of New Jersey with relatives of Harriett Tubman, the Black Cowboys, and Elected officials throughout the state along with Mr. Roland Martin. A strong believer in Jesus Christ, she is a member of the Shiloh Baptist Church in Elizabeth.

Porgy and Bess has been recognized as one of the most important American musical works of the last century. The show began its journey to the Broadway stage in 1936 featuring an all-African American cast of classically trained singers, a casting choice that was considered revolutionary in its time.

This concert-style presentation of Porgy and Bess is musically directed by Khy Garner and features a full orchestra pit conducted by Bruce De La Cruz.

Admission is free but tickets are required to guarantee seating. For more information and to reserve tickets, visit ucpac.org/events. The Box Office can be reached via email at boxoffice@ucpac.org or phone at 732-499-8226.