Ebony Harlem Awards

Ebony Harlem Awards

The Ebony Harlem Awards of Excellence is the annual celebration of Black excellence at NC State. The event began in 1993, making this year the 27th anniversary of recognizing the amazing efforts and impact of the Black community on and off-campus. This year’s theme is “Bright Black.” Bright Black honors both the brilliance of past achievements from the community and challenges us to imagine a hopeful future.

This special program recognizes current NC State students, faculty and staff who reflect and represent, through their leadership, dedication and talents, the mission of the African American Cultural Center. This year, we are excited to continue our partnerships with the Black Alumni Society, NC State National Panhellenic Council, Multicultural Student Affairs, faculty and staff members by expanding the awards that we offer to faculty, staff, graduate students and alumni.

Watch the 2021 Awards

Missed the live showing of the 2021 Ebony Harlem Awards of Excellence or just want to relive the experience again? Check out the Youtube Premiere. Don’t forget to send your peers warm congratulations as we close out the semester.

Award winners who did not attend the in-person ceremony on Stafford Commons may schedule a time to pick up their awards. Email aaculturalcenter@ncsu.edu.

Categories

You may review the award categories below. As you nominate please be sure to include the name of the nominee and the supporting rationale for the nomination. Incomplete nominations cannot be considered. You will receive a copy of your nomination. You may complete the form for each category as many times as you would like.

Undergraduate Awards


The objective of this award is to recognize students involved in formal and informal campus art programs with an exceptional talent for dramatic performance.  The criteria for this award is the ability to portray a range of emotions and perspectives to viewers through their dramatic talents in work that represents Black culture.

The objective of this award is to recognize students involved in formal and informal campus art programs that share their literary talent with the campus community through prose, poetry, blogging, journalism and other forms of writing that keep the tradition of Black literary expression alive. The criteria for this award is a person that is proficient and demonstrative of creating their own content to share Black narratives.

The objective of this award is to recognize students involved in formal or informal dance programs/performances on campus who have taken a personal interest in the exploration of narratives of Blackness through dance. The criteria for this award is a person that demonstrates an exceptional talent for expression of Black culture through dance.

The objective of this award is to recognize students involved in formal or informal campus instrumental music activities who have displayed a personal interest in playing or creating music. The criteria for this award is a person that displays talent in regards to instrumental music, including digital instruments, that create and transmit expressions, themes, and feelings of the Black experience.

The objective of this award is to recognize students involved in formal and informal campus vocal music activities as well as those who have demonstrated a personal interest in using their abilities to share narratives of Blackness. The criteria for this award is a person that demonstrates vocal talent for the purpose of entertainment, conveying Black messages and should be selected based on voice quality.

The objective of this award is to recognize students involved in formal and informal campus art programs as well as those who have a personal interest in using art. The criteria for this award is a person that is proficient in an artistic field (sculpture, painting, fashion design, photography, graphic design, etc.) with a demonstrated willingness to share this talent constructively to make significant contributions to the cultural enlightenment and development of Black people on campus.

The objective of this award is to recognize students engaged in entrepreneurial efforts relating to the arts, social issues, technological development, research, and/or business ownership that operates in the spirit of ujamaa, or cooperative economics. The criteria for this award is an individual that leverages their entrepreneurial endeavors to contribute to the understanding, knowledge or production of Black culture through their goods and/or services.

The objective of this award is to recognize students who unselfishly give of themselves not only to the NC State Black campus community but also as an accomplice to other minoritized struggles on campus and in the surrounding community. The criteria for this award is a person that displays a consistent and constructive involvement in the pursuit of intersectional liberation as a service volunteer and advocate.

The objective of this award is to recognize students who encourage and guide their Black peers in formal and informal leadership opportunities at at NC State. The criteria for this award is a person that demonstrates an ability to lead others in culturally relevant, productive directions that supports the mission of the African American Cultural Center and Multicultural Student Affairs.

The objective of this award is to recognize students who show support of and advocate for the Black community through word and deed. The criteria for this award is a person who demonstrates an overall excellence in character, leadership skills, scholarship and service as an advocate for social justice for Black people and other minoritized communities. 

This award is given to recognize seniors who have emerged as leading scholars among their peers while serving the Black NC State student community and representing the mission of the AACC throughout their undergraduate careers.

The objective of this award is to recognize an undergraduate student that engages in discovery-, inquiry-, scholarship- and creativity-based opportunities to empower the community to deepen its understanding of issues pertaining to Black identity and culture. In your supporting information please describe the research and/or scholarly production of the individual and how the individual uses their work to empower the community.

Graduate Awards


The objective of this award is to recognize a graduate student that uses their scholarly achievements and/or production to empower the community to deepen its understanding of issues pertaining to Black identity and culture. In your supporting information please describe the research and/or scholarly production of the individual and how the individual uses their work to empower the community.

The objective of this award is to recognize a graduate student that goes above and beyond their responsibilities as a community member, organizational leader, or graduate assistant to impact the campus. Examples of service include but are not limited to: 1)evidence of leadership on university, department or graduate student committees, 2) leadership in student organizations or activities supporting current graduate student interests on campus or in the community, 3) support of current graduate student interests on campus or in the community development and/or activity with service programs, 4) service with local or national organizations advancing graduate student interests, 5) creating informal environments that advance an inclusive climate and culture.

Mate Masie Faculty Awards

These faculty members embody the spirit of Mate Masie, which means “I Understand”. Understanding means wisdom and knowledge, but it also represents the prudence of taking into consideration what another person has said. They also demonstrate teaching excellence, engage with the African American Cultural Center, and furthers the knowledge of the African Diaspora.


This award is given to a faculty member who works to increase diversity in the faculty ranks of NC State and to support the professional success of Black faculty. The criteria for this award is a demonstration of advocacy at the departmental level or higher, mentorship of other faculty members, and other activities that create access to professional opportunities for underrepresented groups.

This award is given to a faculty member who provides excellent mentorship of undergraduate students on projects that advance our knowledge of Black culture and/or issues that impact Black communities. The criteria for this award is demonstrated ability to support research activities for undergraduate students and to empower them to develop their research skills.

This award is given to a faculty member who provides excellent mentorship and/or advising for Black graduate students in any field. The criteria for this award is a display of commitment to helping students find success and gratification in their chosen path of study as well as nurturing students’ personal and professional development.

Nkonsonkonson Staff Awards

These staff members embody the spirit of the Nkonsonkonson, which is the “chain link”. This symbol of unity and human relations serves as a reminder to contribute to the community and that in unity there is strength. This staff member demonstrates excellence in supporting students, engages with the African American Cultural Center, and spreads the knowledge of the African Diaspora.


This award is given to a staff member who provides excellent mentorship for Black students. The word “Jegna” is a translation from the ancient kingdom of Abyssinian. In parts of African culture, Jegna is a title of distinction. A Jegna is a person who deserves respect and honor and whose work it is to synthesize wisdom from lifelong experience and formulate this into a legacy for future generations. The criteria for this award are demonstrated commitment to helping students achieve success in the classroom and empowering them to discover their purpose outside of the classroom.

This award is given to a staff member that has displayed an investment in the professional and personal success of their Black colleagues. This staff member embodies that proverb of “sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.” The criteria for this award is a demonstrated commitment to creating engaging spaces, encouraging collaborations and providing meaningful professional mentorship opportunities to their racially minoritized peers.