January 24, 2017
Communications and Marketing
From left, Professor Loretta Brady '99, Linda Rey, Donald Stokes '17
On January 18, student Donald Stokes '17 and psychology professor Loretta Brady '99 were presented with the fourth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Awards at the 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner and inaugural Diversity Speaker Series, the first event in a month-long series honoring Dr. King's legacy. Interim Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile was the speaker.
Stokes and Brady were nominated by community members who recognized them as examples of outstanding leadership, compassion, and courage while working towards eliminating discrimination, oppression, and injustice.
A senior politics major, Stokes was selected for his passion and dedication to promoting social change. Stokes is a mentor for the Multicultural Center's "Transitions" pre-Orientation Program, treasurer for the Multicultural Student Coalition, Access Academy volunteer, and member of the President's Steering Committee on Diversity and Inclusiveness (PSCDI). In addition to his work on campus, he has gained experience working for the New Hampshire Senate as a legislative aide to Senators David Pierce and Dan Feltes for the committees of Health and Human Services and Energy and Natural Resources. After graduation, he is interested in working in state and local government focusing specifically on improving urban environment and education.
"Three traits come to mind when I think of Donald: dedication, optimism, and kindness," said Linda Rey of the Multicultural Center in her remarks. "He is a young man who has overcome many obstacles in his lifetime, and he is willing to put others before himself. When it comes to things that he truly believes in, he is a great leader in our community and calls for a change that is desperately needed. Many of his peers believe that he is the Martin Luther King, Jr. of today's generation."
A member of the college's psychology department, Professor Loretta Brady is dedicated to building community, awareness, and inclusion both in and out of the classroom. Brady has created events, taught courses, and written columns to foster dialogue about diversity and injustice. She has also served organizations for the homeless to improve service delivery for those affected by trauma and addiction. She works tirelessly to create greater economic inclusion for immigrant communities and to provide economic and social opportunities for those impacted by incarceration.
"The only reason we ever need to continue the fight for social justice is that God calls us to be his heart and hands in the world," said Brady. "It's nice to be honored for bringing light."
This year's student-led Martin Luther King, Jr. Dinner in Davison Hall welcomed a record number of 300 attendees to hear poems and speeches from student-leaders, including master of ceremonies Laura Monegro '18. In addition, Brazile, as the first speaker for the Diversity Speaker Series, spoke passionately about King's legacy and her experience continuing his life's work.
The Diversity Speaker Series is the result of diligent efforts by the President's Steering Committee on Diversity and Inclusiveness (PSCDI) to advance the understanding of and commitment to a more diverse and inclusive community at the college.
Story by Jasmine Blais '17