2024 MLK Scholars continue Kings legacy

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2024 MLK Scholars continue King’s legacy through storytelling, resilience, advocacy, and public assembly

By Paige Galperin

Martin Luther King Jr. is best known for his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech, but his legacy extends far beyond that day in Washington, D.C. As the face of the Civil Rights Movement, King devoted his life to fighting for social justice through numerous avenues, from community service to organized boycotts. Now, more than 50 years after his death, recipients of ODI's MLK Scholarship are following in King's footsteps.

This year's MLK Scholarship was awarded to a diverse group of ODI students, including five Morrill Scholars, four James L. Moore III Scholars, and one Young Scholar. More than half are first-generation college students, and several are involved in ODI initiatives like the Bell National Resource Center, Scholarship and Supplemental Academic Services, and the JLM Social Peer Assistants. All are committed to serving their communities, supporting issues from food insecurity to LGBTQ+ rights.

Most notable, however, is the way these scholarship recipients embody the many different facets of MLK's life, leadership, and legacy.

From Ama Baba, who writes children's books that teach lessons about environmental protection, to Jamil Wright, who led a protest in Akron following the death of Jayland Walker, this year's MLK Scholarship recipients are following in King's hallowed footsteps. Read on for some of their remarkable stories.

Ama Baba

Inspiring action through words and storytelling.

Read more about Ama Baba
Shannon Savage

Embodying resilience in higher education.

Read more about Shannon Savage
Sarah Al-Hashemi

Removing social disparities through political advocacy.

Read more about Sarah Al-Hashemi
Jamil Wright

Harnessing the power of assembly for positive change.

Read more about Jamil Wright

All scholarship recipients were honored at ODI's annual MLK Celebration on Wednesday, January 24, 2024. A full list of recipients can be found below.

  • Hana Aboma
  • Sarah Al-Hashemi
  • Ama Baba
  • Tiona Fain
  • Talia Nelson
  • Kennedy Pannell
  • Shannon Savage
  • Rei Scott
  • Samantha Wigfall
  • Jamil Wright