The 8th Annual Unity Celebration was held Wednesday, March 1, 2017. This exciting event brings together folks who work to promote diversity and social justice. This year’s celebration featured poetry from LBCC’s Poetry Club and a talk by Women's March organizer Erica Fuller. We also recognized individuals and organizations whose work establishes unity and inclusivity on our campus and in the surrounding community.
The awards are as follows:
- Analee Fuentes Unity Award: Presented to one LBCC student, staff member and faculty member for their contributions to diversity and social justice on campus.
- Gary Westford Community Connection Award: Presented to an individual or organization whose work with diversity, inclusion, social justice and equity contributes to the college and community.
2017 award nominees:
Faculty: Robin Havenick, Scott McAleer, Liz Pierce, Ian Priestman, Joyce Thompson-Graham, Matt Usner
Staff: Victoria Fridley, Carol Raymundo, Clare Sobotka
Student: Mounir El Jamal, Ceph Poklemba, Eric Slyter
Community: Rod & Denise Bigner/The Pix Theater, Lina DeMorais, Josefine Fleetwood, Ismail Warsame
2017 award winners:
- Faculty member Robin Havenick won the Analee Fuentes Unity Award for her "tireless advocacy for issues concerning diversity, equity, and social justice." Among other things, she conceived of and developed the African American Literature course, which continues to enroll more and more students. In her other classes, she frequently integrates readings that encourage students to widen their perspectives on diversity. Robin's passion for diversity issues is inspiring to both her students and her colleagues.
- The Learning Center’s Writing Center Coordinator Victoria Fridley also won the Analee Fuentes Unity Award. Through Victoria's leadership and social justice philosophy, the Writing Center provides all students meaningful interactions that increase their confidence and writing skill. Victoria facilitates remarkable growth and transformation through consultations marked by respect and deep listening. Many marginalized students first claim their voice and develop trust in their capacity to think critically in the Writing Center, and Victoria deserves recognition for facilitating such a calm, inclusive learning space.
- Student body president Eric Slyter won the Analee Fuentes Unity Award as well. He has worked hard for the voices and needs of the LBCC student body. He was successful in advocating for Tutor-Assisted Study Support for Chemistry/Physics students and is a major supporter of Online Educational Resources, which save LBCC students significant amounts of money. Eric thinks of others before himself and is always inclusive and empathetic towards all students.
- The Gary Westford Community Connection award went to Pix Theater owners Rod and Diane Bigner for their continued investment in the community by supporting diversity initiatives. In partnership with the Diversity Achievement Center, they generously provided a free screening of the film Selma in conjunction with the Martin Lunther King Jr. holiday weekend. It was an inclusive and educational event. The theater helped to facilitate discussion before and after the screening as well.