January 22, 2016
Communications and Marketing
On January 19, Saint Anselm College presented the third annual Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Awards to Professor Jennifer Thorn and senior India Barrows. The recipients were announced during the 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner, the first event in a month-long series honoring Dr. King's legacy. Alumnus Dr. Ivan Lamourt '86, director of counseling of St. Benedict's Preparatory in Newark, N.J. was the keynote speaker at this year's dinner.
Professor Thorn and Barrows were recognized for their outstanding leadership, compassion, and courage in promoting social justice while working to eliminate discrimination, oppression, and injustice.
A member of the English department, Professor Thorn was selected for her commitment to raising awareness of social justice issues. Her dedication to educating both in and out of the classroom is demonstrated by the events and discussions she facilitates on campus, as well as her integration of issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality into her courses. Amongst other activities, she organized a public forum following the racial unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and spearheaded faculty and staff involvement in the Diversity Challenge at Boston College last October.
"Jennifer Thorn is a remarkable woman who champions justice in non-violent ways," says Yemi Mahoney, director of the Multicultural Center and Education Services. "She is humble, genuine, and seeking in her efforts; she uses relational approaches to persuade and direct attention in gentle and effective ways. Meanwhile, she is also a clear and resounding voice in support of others and broader needs. It is an honor to enjoy her as a colleague and to learn from her ways to bring people together for justice and community."
In the award citation, Barrows was praised as "an outstanding example of what it means to be a selfless, effective leader" with core values of love, respect, and justice.
"India embodies many characteristics of being Anselmiam," says Zach Camenker '16, who nominated Barrows for the award. "Her service and commitment to others carries Dr. King's beliefs and ideas into the new age."
During her time at Saint Anselm, Barrows has served others in need, on and off-campus, informally and formally, through Campus Ministry's Service & Solidarity Missions Trips and the Multicultural Center's Transitions Program. She co-founded and led the unity retreat, was a Transitions Program mentor, is a member of the Multicultural Center's student coalition executive board, a Cole Fellow, a Meelia Center Impact Fellow, and a member of the student theatre group, the Abbey Players.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner kicked-off a month-long series of events at the college celebrating Dr. King and his legacy. This year's program, "Let Freedom Ring From the Hilltop," promotes positive social change. In the true spirit of Dr. King, students, faculty, and departments from across campus collaborated to plan diverse programming.