NU Students Recognized for Commemorating Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 27, 2017

  • Pictured are winners from this year's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Ceremony, from left: Khallid Lewis, Tia Robinson, Chris Platone and Elijah Vazquez.

    Pictured are winners from this year's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Ceremony, from left: Khallid Lewis, Tia Robinson, Chris Platone and Elijah Vazquez.

  • Simone Beckford, a graduate assistant in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, welcomed attendees.

    Simone Beckford, a graduate assistant in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, welcomed attendees.

  • Averl Harbin, director of multicultural affairs, congratulates Tia Robinson with an award for her poem titled 'Reality.'

  • Elijah Vaquez is recognized with an award for his dance, "I Wanna be Ready," by Averl Harbin, director of multicultural affairs.

    Elijah Vaquez is recognized with an award for his dance, "I Wanna be Ready," by Averl Harbin, director of multicultural affairs.

  • Averl Harbin, director of multicultural affairs, presents an award to Chris Platone for his poem, 'The Tender to the Fire.'

    Averl Harbin, director of multicultural affairs, presents an award to Chris Platone for his poem, 'The Tender to the Fire.'

  • Khallid Lewis receives an award from Averl Harbin, director of multicultural affairs, for his presentation on apartheid in South Africa.

    Khallid Lewis receives an award from Averl Harbin, director of multicultural affairs, for his presentation on apartheid in South Africa.

Niagara University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs presented awards to four students Tuesday night during an event that celebrated the accomplishments and enthusiasm of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Khallid Lewis, Christopher Plantone, Tia Robinson and Elijah Vazquez were recognized for using creative means to commemorate the legacy of Dr. King.

Award recipients were very thankful and shared how the experience will help them – and the organizations they serve – moving forward.

“My experience with the award was simply amazing,” said Vazquez, a sophomore. “Such an opportunity gave me an appreciative attitude for the whole process. When I received the award, I felt honored to be a part of something so special and meaningful. For ongoing studies, this award will be useful for giving back to some charitable clubs.”

The ceremony and reception were held in the Castellani Art Museum.

Lewis, who serves as student body president, talked about the experience.

“During the award ceremony, I felt very honored and excited to educate members of our community on the horrors of a system that oppressed many,” said Lewis, a senior who is majoring in math and hospitality and tourism management. “I felt very honored to have been chosen out of all the applicants. This experience was beneficial because it helped me with the expenses of textbooks for the semester. In addition to the financial support, this presentation helped me build my skills as a public speaker and presenter.”

NU is offering numerous events in observance of the federal holiday that marks the birthday of Dr. King. To view the full schedule, please visit www.niagara.edu/mlk.

Article by Shelby Ehrenreich, a senior studying theatre performance, with minors in communication studies and dance. Photos by Gabrielle McIntyre, a junior communication studies major at NU.