Jameela BrownCARLINVILLE - Blackburn College is pleased to announce that Jameela Brown, a junior majoring in creative writing, from Belleville, Illinois is the recipient of the 2020-2021 Martin Luther King (MLK) Student Leadership Award. This award is presented annually to a student who exemplifies the values of diversity and inclusion at the college.

Jarrod Gray, interim dean of students, said Brown was chosen as the recipient this year for her keen spirit for fairness, equity, and for her dedication to inclusion. He explained that the Student Life and Career Services department coordinates the nomination process and a committee of students, faculty and staff chooses the winner. As the 2020-2021 award recipient, Brown received a $100 gift card, a certificate from Blackburn President Mark Biermann, and will have her photo displayed on the MLK Legacy Wall.

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Brown said she was honored to receive the award and to be recognized for her leadership. She added, “My experience receiving this award was fairly exciting. I was awoken from a nap with tons of emails congratulating me. It was pretty funny because it took me a while before I even knew what I was being congratulated for.”

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Her leadership contributions at Blackburn include serving as the manager of the Community Services department as part of the only student-run Work Program in the nation. She also works in Blackburn’s Writer’s Block, a campus resource that offers writing assistance for students. After graduation, her plans are to enroll in a Master’s Program for higher education.

Gray created this award in 2014, during his time as Blackburn’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion. He explained, “I started the MLK Student Leadership Award because it was very obvious we weren't then celebrating and highlighting the exceptional community-based work our students were leading. We then started the MLK legacy wall in Student Life where all of the recipients of this award have photos displayed of them. I was happy to see when I returned in 2020 that the award has continued on as an annual tradition at Blackburn.”

The entire Blackburn College community congratulates Jameela Brown on this honorable achievement.

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