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Martin Luther King Program

2021 WSU Distinguished Service Awards

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Service Award Committee is seeking nominations for the 2021 Distinguished Service Awards. There are three categories for awards: Distinguished Service Awards, Bayard Rustin LGBTQ+ Excellence Award, and Community, Equity, and Social Justice Awards. 

 

Nominations

Nominations closed January 12. The WSU Distinguished Service Awards Committee is currently reviewing nominations and will announce winners beginning in February. 

Distinguished Service Awards

Criteria
This award recognizes an individual or group from the entire Washington State University community who has made an extraordinary contribution toward continuing the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Following in Dr. King’s legacy, such individuals or groups must promote human rights and social justice in one or all of the following areas:
  • Altruism and community service – outstanding accomplishments or leadership serving others and promoting greater justice and social equality. 
  • Advancement of diversity – notable achievements in creating a supportive climate for underrepresented groups, as well as recruiting, mentoring, and retaining diverse populations.
  • Education and inclusion – exceptional efforts of teaching, leadership, or programs that encourage an understanding of and quest for human rights and social justice for all people. 
Eligibility

Awards will be given in the following categories.

  • A current Washington State University faculty member.
  • A current Washington State University staff member.
  • A currently enrolled Washington State University student.
  • A current group or organization affiliated with Washington State University.
  • An individual or group from the surrounding community. 

Bayard Rustin Excellence Award

Bayard Rustin was an American civil rights leader, best known for serving as an advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr. and organizing Freedom Rides, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the March on Washington. Rustin was an openly gay man who was forced to work behind the scenes due to his sexuality. His work as a mentor and advisor to King in the practice of nonviolent civil resistance influenced the civil rights movement for years. After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed, Rustin transitioned to working on human rights and LGBTQ+ rights.

Criteria

This award recognizes an individual who is an undergraduate student, graduate student, faculty, staff member, or community member from any campus/surrounding area who is an advocate for LGBTQ+ communities of color and activism (widely defined).

Eligibility 

The Bayard Rustin LGBTQ+ Excellence Award will be given in the following categories:

  • A current Washington State University faculty/staff member
  • A currently enrolled Washington State University student

Community, Equity, and Social Justice Inclusive Excellence Award

Criteria
These awards recognize the significant contribution, time and effort of Washington State University community members towards advancing an inclusive climate for excellence in activism, advocating, teaching, research, public service and academic endeavors.  
 

Eligibility 
The Community, Equity, and Social Justice Awards will be given in the following categories:

  • A current Washington State University faculty/staff member
  • A currently enrolled Washington State University student
  • A current group or organization affiliated with Washington State University
  • An individual or group from the surrounding community.