First presented in 2014, Blackburn’s MLK Leadership Award is presented annually to a student that exemplifies the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion and celebrates the exceptional community-based work at the College.

Mihkyelle Cooper ’22, a senior majoring in Justice Administration from East St. Louis, is the winner of the 2022 MLK Leadership Award.

“Mihkyelle was a well-deserved recipient of this year’s MLK Leadership Award award because she exemplifies dedicated leadership by role modeling the true essence of diversity, equity, and inclusion in everything that she does. As evidence of Mihkyelle’s dedication and commitment, one of the nominations submitted in support of Mihkyelle stated: ‘She has developed into a natural leader as evidenced by her role as the first black female General Manager. Mihkyelle is not afraid to speak up for what she believes is right.’”

Dr. Margaret Lawler

Previous Winners

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

Nomination Form

If you know a student that exemplifies the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion please nominate them. The deadline is very quick and all nominations are due by Friday, January 6, 2023.

A committee representing students, faculty, and staff will convene to determine the recipient of the award. Please contact Margaret Lawler with any questions.