The MLK Leadership Award is an annual award presented to a student who exemplifies the values of diversity and inclusion at Blackburn College. 

In 2014, the former Director of Diversity and Inclusion created the MLK Leadership Award to celebrate and highlight Blackburn students’ exceptional community-based work.

The MLK Leadership Award honors outstanding students who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and service to the ideals of diversity, equity, and inclusion beyond the scope of their job. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are directly linked to Blackburn College’s mission, values, and goals.

2023 MLK Leadership Award Recipient

Miriam (Mim) Wali-Uddin ’23

Blackburn student Miriam Wali-Uddin poses with her MLK Student Leadership Certificate between Dr. Leon Chestang (Blackburn alumnus and MLK Convocation Keynote Speaker) and Dr. Margaret Lawler (Executive Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion)
Miriam (Mim) Wali-Uddin, a senior Justice Administration major from Jacksonville, IL, is the recipient of Blackburn College’s 2023 Martin Luther King (MLK) Student Leadership Award. 

Mim is well deserving of this award and recognition. She is a leader and a role model on this campus, with an incredible personal drive as well as a deep commitment to the well-being and success of our community.

Dr. Margaret Lawler

Previous Winners

  • 2022: Mihkyelle Cooper ’22
  • 2021: Jameela Brown
  • 2020: Nick Johnson ’22
  • 2019: Logan Elliot ’19
  • 2018: Brandon Lewis ’18

Criteria for the MLK Leadership Award

To be eligible for the MLK Leadership Award, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Initiate or engage in activities that positively enhance the educational, social, and social justice impact of the community and/or their workplace;
  • Approach academic, social, or social justice arenas with self-determination;
  • Exhibit extraordinary commitment and dedication to community service, volunteerism, social justice, and/or civil rights;  
  • Exhibit leadership that has significantly impacted the Blackburn community; and/or
  • Have persevered to overcome challenges, either at school, in the workplace, or personally 

Award winners will be honored at the annual MLK Convocation ceremony. Each recipient of the MLK Leadership Award is given prize money, a certificate, and will have their photo displayed on the MLK Legacy Wall. 

Nomination Form

If you know a student who exemplifies the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, please nominate them.

A selection committee made up of faculty and staff will determine the recipient of the award. Please contact Dr. Michael Cummings with any questions.