Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Dennis Powell lived on West and Mill Streets which were both razed during the Urban Renewal of 1966. After serving in the U.S. Army in Germany, he worked briefly at General Electric, and then attended the Culinary Institute of America (C.I.A.), where he later became a teaching fellow. He worked in New York City until he returned to the C.I.A. as a faculty member, then department chair. After a career at the C.I.A., he opened a restaurant in Pittsfield, and now helps with Mad Jacks, his son’s restaurant and catering business.
Dennis is in his third term as NAACP chapter president, serves on the Pittsfield School Committee, Pittsfield Licensing Board, as Vice Chair of the Clinton Church Restoration Board, and is active in many social and racial justice and education projects, including the Du Bois Lecture Series.
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Du Bois Panel Bios