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April 4 MLK Award Program at U of M Will Recognize Three
For release: April 2, 3007
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The University of Memphis will present Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott and Lonnie Latham with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Award at a ceremony April 4 at 2 p.m. in the Panhellenic Building Ballroom. The award recognizes individuals whose activities exemplify non-violent leadership in the pursuit of social justice and human rights.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship will also be presented at the ceremony. The 2007 recipient is KaNeisha Thomas, a freshman nursing major with a 3.4 GPA. She is the daughter of Shirley Ann and Roy Thomas Jones.

Scott, a professor of instruction and curriculum leadership in the College of Education, has actively promoted diversity and human rights throughout her academic career. She joined the U of M in 1996 as the first director of the Office of Diversity. In this position, she initiated and directed several programs, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Program and the Diversity at its Best Symposium.

Much of Scott’s academic work focuses on literacy and diversity. In addition, she founded the National African-American Read-In Chain and has served as its national director. This program celebrates the literacy and rich literary tradition of African-Americans and raises public awareness of the challenges confronting the nation in its ongoing experiment with realizing the goals of democracy.

Scott has received numerous honors for promoting the ideals of social justice and literacy, including the Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. Within the University community, she was awarded the Dean’s Outstanding Service Award from the College of Education.

Latham joined the U of M as coordinator of the University Center in 1985. In 2003 he was named associate dean of students for minority affairs.  In that position, he promotes personal development in the academic, social and cultural lives of minority students. Under his direction, student involvement, programming and services have increased, enhancing students’ learning, sense of belonging and enjoyment of the college experience.  Latham has also received the Pyramid Award, one of the most prestigious awards from the Division of Student affairs.

He began his career in higher education at Shelby State Community College, where he served as academic counselor, job placement coordinator and student activities coordinator.

The event is sponsored by African and African-American Studies and the Office of Diversity.

For more information, call 901/678-3516.

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Last updated: 03/19/2008 16:38:15
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