WEST ORANGE, NJ – Union High School history teacher Nicholas A. Ferroni is to be honored with the Diversity in Education Champion Award at the American Conference on Diversity on Thursday, April 6, during the 69th Annual Humanitarian Awards.
Ferroni developed a “Teach the Truth” campaign to incorporate more minority figures in social studies curriculum, as well as to include the history of the gay and lesbian civil rights movement. He helped found his school’s Gay Straight Alliance and Feminist Club.
Ferroni’s social experiment on the importance of gender equality in politics went viral, garnering the attention of news outlets and television programs nationwide. The View’s Whoopi Goldberg called it “the best social experiment ever.” He also released a controversial PSA, “Preach What You Practice,” calling on today’s top professional athletes and reminding them of their obligation as a role model to help improve the nutritional health of America’s youth.
Ferroni was recently named “Upstander of the Year” by the Human Rights Campaign for his outspoken advocacy and support for LGBTQ youth. He was noted as one the “100 Making a Difference” and one of the “Most Influential Educators in America.”
This year’s Humanitarian Awards Gala is co-chaired by Grammy-Award winning music legend Dionne Warwick (2015 Humanitarian Award honoree) and Berkeley College Chair Kevin Luing (2016 Humanitarian Award honoree) and will be hosted by Miss America 2004 Ericka Dunlap.
Five other outstanding diversity and inclusion ambassadors will be recognized during the gala:
► Cid Wilson, President & CEO of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility – HACR (Diversity & Inclusion Champion), is a global trailblazer for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
► RWJBarnabas Health (Healthcare) is the most comprehensive healthcare delivery system in New Jersey with a service area covering five million people. The CEO of RWJBarnabas Health is Barry Ostrowsky.
► Mildred Scott, Middlesex County Sheriff (Law Enforcement), is the first female Sheriff in Middlesex County and the first African-American Sheriff in the state of New Jersey.
► Dr. Pamela Thomas, Principal at OIC of America’s, Career and Academic Development Institute (Bridge Builder), is changing the lives of under-credited youth in Camden, NJ, and Philadelphia.
Proceeds from the Humanitarian Awards dinner will support the American Conference on Diversity’s mission to build just and inclusive schools, workplaces, and communities through awareness, education, and advocacy.