The Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity held its culminating events of the academic year last week, including the AYA Graduation on April 26, 2016, the annual Ebony Harlem Awards program on May 1, 2016 and the annual Chancellor’s Creating Community Awards program on May 4, 2016. Congratulations to all the honorees!
Ebony Harlem Awards Program
The African American Cultural Center ended the year with the Ebony Harlem Awards of Excellence. The award ceremony kicked off with a performance by Jordan Williams, a sophomore at NC State. Students Kinesha Harris and Mathew Wright hosted the ceremony while AYA Ambassadors and alumni partnered together to present and honor the award recipients. The Ebony Harlem Awards serve as an opportunity for the NC State community to come together to celebrate student achievement of the academic year. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Toni Thorpe and Marian Fragola introduced to the audience the upcoming Oral History Project that is a collaboration between the AACC and NCSU Libraries. The goal is to allow students to participate and learn about the African American archival history of NC State.
The Chancellor’s Creating Community Awards
On Wednesday, May 4, 2016, the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity hosted the Chancellor’s Creating Community Awards, recognizing exceptional contributions in the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion by NC State students, student organizations, staff, faculty and colleges/divisions. This year’s nominees were exceptionally strong, resulting in honorable mentions being awarded in addition to the winner in four categories. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees who make NC State a more welcoming and rewarding place to work and learn.
Congratulations to this year’s winners:
Winner: Maria Correa
Winner: Fatou Mbye
Honorable Mention: Rebekah Dunstan
Winner: Victor Eduardo
Honorable Mention: Noah Riley
Outstanding Student Organization
Winner: Textile Association of Graduate Students (TAGS)
Honorable Mention: Mu Omicron Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Winner: The Engineering Place
Honorable Mention: College of Veterinary Medicine
See the Chancellor’s Creating Community Awards program listing for names of all the nominees.
AYA Ambassadors Graduation
The annual AYA Graduation for the African American Cultural Center’s students who have served as AYA Ambassadors took place on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 in Witherspoon to celebrate the accomplishments of seniors completing their undergraduate careers at NC State. These student ambassadors embody the knowledge and traditions of the African adinkra symbol signifying “endurance and resourcefulness.” African American Cultural Center staff members shared words of wisdom and encouragement with the students. Dr. Frances Graham, interim director, spoke to the attendees about the importance of being grateful and saying the simple words “thank you” through their journeys. Graduate counseling intern Donna Battle portrayed a powerful story referencing the Zimbabwe proverb, “You have little power over what is not yours.” Ms. Battle educated the students with a warning not to let anyone convince them that a lie is the truth in life and in their academic careers. Toni “Mama” Thorpe empowered the attendees with her truthful words that we owe our ancestors. She spoke about not feeling entitled as you gain success but understanding the opportunities you have because your ancestors fought for them. The ceremony celebrated 10 graduating seniors: Nia Miller, Jasmine Jack, Jasmine Cannon, Jasmine Jones, Torisha Dozier, Tsharre Sanders, Kaila Woodard, Alexis Gaines, Gift Coker and Toluwalope Oyelowo. Congratulations to the graduating AYA Ambassadors and we wish you the best on your journey!
O’Licia Parker-Smith, communications intern in the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity, contributed to this article.