EMU’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Annual Awards honored this year’s MLK scholarship recipients with a virtual ceremony featuring student instrumental and musical gospel performances on Saturday, Jan. 16.
There were a total of four scholarships awarded at the ceremony:
The MLK Student Scholarship recipient was D’Anna Hayes
The MLK Humanitarian Award winner was Dr. Rema Reynolds
The Evans-Strand Peace Award recipient was Maliyah McGowan
The MLK Student Essay Scholarship Award winners were Lawrence Smith, Alexandria McCormick, and Kennede Thomas, as well as several honorable mentions.
Kennede Thomas, a sophomore K-12 Art Education major, submitted her paintings for the MLK Student Essay Scholarship at the urging of her painting teacher. Her series of paintings reflected the theme of this year’s MLK Celebration, “We the People Speak: No Justice, No Peace.”
“Martin Luther King Jr. Day means a lot to me,” Thomas says. “It is very important to celebrate holidays like MLK day because it helps ensure that we do not repeat the past. In 2020 - 2021, it definitely feels reminiscent of the '60s as far as alt-right behaviors go, as well as the divisive nature of the country. Martin Luther King Jr. evoked change during that time and today we can look to him for strategies and attitudes on how to evoke change in the 21st century.”
The awards ceremony also featured four student performances. First, was “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a vocal performance by Dominick Brooks, Chantel Campbell, and Treondis Snodgrass. The next song was a vocal and instrumental performance of “A Night in Tunisia” performed by Dominick Brooks and Chantel Campbell. EMU alumna, Caleena Wilson, performed her renditions of “Reckless Love” and “A Medley.” Finally, Tailen Toilver performed the songs “Precious Lord” and “All in His Hands.”