University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack announced that the University is accepting nominations for its annual Drum Major Award to memorialize the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Drum Major Award honors individuals who have made significant contributions toward realizing Dr. King’s dream of equality, social justice, and peace. In one of his more famous sermons, Dr. King said, “…say that I was a drum major for justice…for peace…for righteousness.”
The Drum Major Award will be presented at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast on February 3, 2006. It was created by the University to acknowledge the contributions of both campus and community leaders who work diligently to keep Dr. King’s dream alive. In 2005, Yvonne Drayton, Campaign Director of the YWCA and Jeanne Leffers, Associate Professor, Director of Community Nursing, were selected to receive the University’s second Drum Major Awards. In 2004, community activst Ross M. Grace, Jr. and New Bedford NAACP President Lee Charlton received the award.
These awardees will designate a charitable organization of their choice, to which a check of $1,000 will be given in their name.
UMass Dartmouth is actively seeking nominations from the community for the Drum Major Award. “Our community is blessed with people who truly reflect Dr. King’s values and dreams,” said Chancellor MacCormack. “I do want to encourage everyone in the community to make a nomination as a way to recognize individuals who work diligently in the areas that were so important to Dr. King.”
Nominees for the Drum Major Award should have demonstrated significant or compelling accomplishments in one or several of the following areas:
- Promotion and advancement of mutual respect, understanding, and appreciation for cultural and ethnic diversity
- Promotion and advancement of the recruitment, hiring, and/or admission to professional organizations of underrepresented ethnic groups
- Promotion and advancement of the retention and career mentoring of underrepresented ethnic groups
- Assistance in ensuring equal opportunity and career advancement options for underrepresented ethnic groups
- Encouraging the participation of traditionally underrepresented groups in public service, campus committees, activities, or events
- Design and implementation of programs, curricula materials and/or courses that inspire mutual respect, understanding, and sensitivity for persons of diverse backgrounds
The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast this year will be in February 2006, due to the late beginning of the spring semester. The Drum Major Award and Breakfast provides an annual opportunity for the community to focus on the visions and ideals of Dr. King and to share those values with each other. “In these times of incivility, intolerance and insensitivity, it is more important than ever that we keep Dr. King’s dreams of equality and social justice at the forefront of our society,” added Assistant Chancellor George Smith.
Nominations from the community must be received on or before Friday, November 25, 2005 at 4:30 p.m. To obtain a nomination form, visit www.umassd.edu/eeo or contact Assistant Chancellor George Smith at 508.999.8008.