Indiana University faculty, staff, and students came together virtually to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with the second annual Social Justice Conference. Monday's celebration, A Journey Toward True Education: Social Justice Conference 2022, included speakers, panel discussions, and music provided by the African American Arts Institute, as well as the presentation of the winners of the 2022 Building Bridges Award and the inaugural MLK Student Organization Grant.
The Building Bridges Award honors Indiana University faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners across IU's campuses who capture King's spirit, vision, and leadership. The MLK Student Organization Grant awards $500 to a student organization for programs, event sponsorships, or efforts supporting inclusivity, respect for diversity, and community service.
Following are this year's Building Bridges Award and MLK Student Grant winners:
The 2022 Building Bridges Award student recipient is Jordan Davis, a junior in the Kelley School of Business. Jordan works to introduce new policies within the Kelley School, such as implementing anti-racism/bias training, increasing representation for guest speakers, and leading a call for a dean-level position that focuses specifically on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The community recipient is Priscilla Barnes, Ph.D., an associate professor in the School of Public Health, currently leading the development of community health needs assessments (CHNAs) and developing community health improvement plans (CHIPs) in seven rural Indiana counties.
The Paul H. O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs African American and African Diaspora Graduate Society receives IU Bloomington's first MLK $500 Grant. With the grant, students from various disciplines will discuss life as African American graduate students at Indiana University and develop ideas to make IU more diverse and inclusive, inspiring more African Americans to attend IU as graduate students.
The student recipient of the 2022 Building Bridges Award for IUPUI is Karl Nkemzi, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering who is serving as the inaugural director of diversity, equity, and inclusions for IUPUI's student government.
The community recipient is Etta Ward, IUPUI assistant vice chancellor for research and development.
Etta works to cultivate a culture of true belonging regardless of skin tone, background, or faction and fosters spaces for deep listening, reflection, and developing solidarity across factional and racial lines.
The Student National Medical Association-Indianapolis Chapter receives IUPUI's first MLK $500 Grant. This student organization is committed to supporting current and future underrepresented minority medical students, addressing the needs of underserved communities, and increasing the number of clinically excellent, culturally competent, and socially conscious physicians.
The 2022 Building Bridges Award student recipient is Olivia Fuel, a junior majoring in elementary education, being honored for her work as a lead peer mentor.
Katherine V. Wills, a professor and English program director, is the community recipient for her continuous work and leadership in creating a diverse and inclusive campus community.
The Feminism Club receives IUPUC's first MLK $500 Grant going towards their important work addressing the needs of students and making those on IUPUC's campus proud of their workplace and community.
The 2022 Building Bridges Award student recipient is Alex Hakes, a senior majoring in Spanish and political science. Hakes is the current president of the student government association and has used his role to help serve as a voice and increase the diversity of SGA's programs and initiatives.
The community recipient is LaCalvince (Cal) Simpson, a senior lector in marketing and management who incorporates diversity, equity, and inclusion into his courses and mentors students of color.
IU Ft. Wayne
The 2022 Building Bridges Award student recipient, Yusra Saleh, is a senior majoring in Health Sciences and a current member and past officer of the Muslim Student Association. The association creates a positive foundation for students to learn about Islam, expands the thinking and horizons of all of its members in an Islamic fashion, and positively educates the public about Islamic culture.
The community recipient is Turnstone, northeast Indiana's only freestanding not-for-profit organization providing a comprehensive continuum of supportive services addressing the unique needs of people with disabilities and their families.
The Institute of Healthcare Improvement receives IU Ft. Wayne's first MLK $500 Grant.
Shailyn Nash is the student recipient of the 2022 Building Bridges Award. Shailyn is a senior graduating in May 2022 with a New Media, Art, and Technology degree. Her senior thesis exhibition, Our Hair, Our Story, My Story, depicts the relationship the Black community has with its natural hair.
The community recipient, JC Barnett, currently works as director of IUK's Black Student Center, which serves Black students by providing a place to belong and facilitating academic and social support opportunities in a safe and welcoming environment.
IUK's first MLK Grant goes to Equal Pay Day, an activity implemented by the IU Kokomo Equity Ambassadors ―a group of students who hold conversations with other students on topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Jalen Hubbard, a junior majoring in psychology, is the 2022 Building Bridges Award student recipient. Jalen has served as the president for Brother2Brother. In addition, he is a member of the Student Activity Board, Kind Hearts Association, National Society of Leadership and Success, Student Nurses Association, and the Pre-Professional Club.
The community recipient is Bennie Muhammad, who serves as the executive director of the Gary Commission on the Social Status of Black Males. The commission's mission is to study the social conditions of the city's Black male population, develop strategies to remedy or assist in remedying serious adversities, and make recommendations to improve Gary's educational, social, economic, employment, and other circumstances.
IU Northwest's first MLK $500 Grant goes to the Nu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the first Greek-lettered organization organized by and for college-educated African American women.
IU South Bend
The 2022 Building Bridges Award student recipient is I'Vory Woods, a senior majoring in social work. I'Vory is a member of the Black Student Union on campus and a volunteer for Multicultural Student Showcase Days which reaches 300 prospective high school students each year.
The community recipient, Darryl Heller, currently works as the IU South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center director and as an assistant professor of women's and gender studies. The center explores the past civil rights struggles so people can act in the present and build a better future.
The IUSB Honors Program & Criminal Justice Student Organization receives IU South Bend's first MLK $500 Grant. This student group discusses and examines criminal justice from a variety of perspectives.
The 2022 Building Bridges Award student recipient is De'Arra Brooks, a sophomore majoring in business, has been instrumental in expanding the Indiana University Southeast Black Student Union. Her impressive work in the BSU has made the organization an active and welcoming place on campus for all Black students, full of resources and opportunities for engagement.
The community recipient, Courtney Block, is an Instruction, Reference, and User Engagement Librarian who partnered with the Office of Equity and Diversity to create a special Diversity and Social Justice collection in the library dedicated to Breonna Taylor's memory.
The Black Student Union works to improve the quality of life and support Black students wherever possible and is the recipient of IU Southeast's first MLK $500 Grant.
IU School of Medicine
The 2022 Building Bridges Award student recipient is Jordan Finch, a second-year medical student and president of the Master of Science in Medical Science Student Interest Group.
The community recipient was Dr. Sacha Sharp, an associate professor of medicine who exemplifies Dr. King's call for action for health equity through her scholarship and service.
The IU Student Outreach Clinic receives the IU School of Medicine's first MLK $500 Grant. This free, student-run clinic provides medical, social, and legal services for our uninsured and underserved neighbors within the Indianapolis community.
For more information and to nominate someone for the 2023 Building Bridges Award, please visit our website. For more information on the 2022 MLK Day social justice conference, please visit mlkcelebration.iu.edu.