SPRINGFIELD – Carrie Saldo, host of WGBY 57’s week night news magazine program Connecting Point and a reporter for Greater Boston and WGBH Public Radio, has been named the first recipient of Christ Church Cathedral’s Bishop’s Award.
The award, honoring a journalist for “excellence in bringing local and national concerns to the people of Western Massachusetts, will be presented to Saldo during the second annual “Blessing of Journalists” noon service Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the cathedral at 35 Chestnut St.
The Right Rev. Douglas Fisher, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts for which the cathedral is the seat, will speak as will Mark Hambley, former U. S. ambassador to Qatar and Lebanon, who will address the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi dissident journalist who lived in Virginia and wrote for The Washington Post and was killed Oct. 2 inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
The service, initiated last year by Fisher, who is know for his activism and the Very Rev. Tom Callard, cathedral dean, and open to all those who want to show support for “the work of a free press,” will include readings of the First Amendment from the U.S. Constitution and from Scripture.
The date was selected in conjunction with the Episcopal Church’s annual commemoration of Frederick Douglass, the 19th century orator, civil rights leader and editor of the pro-abolition journal The North Star.
The award recipient will be given a framed page from the paper founded by Douglass.
Douglass was born into slavery in Maryland, but was able to escape North, and died Feb. 20, 1895.
Douglass appeared before a a large audience at City Hall in Springfield on the night of April 12, 1865, speaking the topic of “equality before the law.” On another occasion, he also debated the Rev. Leonard Collins, pastor of St. John’s Congregational Church here, on whether blacks had the right to organize their own churches.
His belief in equal rights included equality for women as well. In 1848, he was the only African American to attend the first women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York.
Douglass second wife, Helen Pitts, an early feminist, was a graduate of Mount Holyoke College.