Skip to Main Content
Group Photo from the 2017 MLK Week Dinner. MLK Week will be occurring at the end of January leading into Black History in February. This year we will have multiple programs including our annual MLK Dinner & Celebration.  Each year, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Distinguished Service Awards are presented to University of Massachusetts Lowell faculty, staff, and students, and to community members of the City of Lowell during the annual MLK Dinner. These awards honor the contributions of individuals who have demonstrated a high level of commitment to social change, service and community engagement. Nominees should exemplify the dream, vision and work of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK Week

Martin Luther King Jr. Awareness Week

Born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist minister, civil-rights activist, and an advocate for race relations in the United States. through King's activism and inspirational speeches, he played an essential role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the United States, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors. King was assassinated in April 1968 and continues to be remembered as one of the most influential and inspirational African-American leaders in history.

At UMass Lowell, we celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. by providing a full week of educational and enjoyable events centered on community action, engagement, and social justice awareness. This week occurs at the end of January leading into Black History Month in February. In past years, the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) has collaborated with elementary and middle schools. In 2017, students at Stoklosa Middle School had a chance to submit an essay emulating the MLK Week theme of the year, wile students at Murkland Elementary School submitted artwork also inspired by the selected theme. The winners had the opportunity to join us at our Annual MLK Week Dinner at University Crossing.

2018 MLK Dinner

MLK WEEK DINNER - JANUARY 30

This annual dinner is the centerpiece of the Martin Luther King Jr. week here at UMass Lowell. Each year, a specific theme from the works of Dr. King is chosen. In 2018, the theme will be "Dignity, Worth, Excellence: What's Your Life's Blueprint." The dinner also features an awards ceremony, speakers, and performances. This year's dinner will occur on Tuesday, January 30 at 5:30 p.m. in Moloney Hall, UCrossing 260. The doors will open at 5 p.m. If you would like to attend the MLK Week Dinner, please RSVP by emailing: multicultural_affairs@uml.edu. The last day to RSVP is January 23.

UMass Lowell Image

7TH ANNUAL MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARDS

Each year, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Distinguished Service Awards are presented to University of Massachusetts Lowell faculty, staff, and students, and to community members of the City of Lowell during the annual MLK Dinner. These awards honor the contributions of individuals who have demonstrated a high level of commitment to social change, service and community engagement. Nominees should exemplify the dream, vision and work of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS:

If you would like to nominate an individual, or yourself, for the Distinguished Service Award please fill out the MLK Service Award Nomination Form. Deadline for nominations is Friday, December 29.

Meet The 2017 MLK Distinguished Service Award Winners

Khalilah Reddie came to campus with one mission: to teach organic chemistry and teach it well.  After earning a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Georgia, Reddie did research at Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute. But she also taught classes as a lecturer – and found a passion for teaching that outstripped her interest in research.  Organic chemistry is a difficult class, and before Reddie arrived at UMass Lowell in fall 2012, about 55 percent of students completed it. But Reddie, a full-time lecturer, has changed that by experimenting with different approaches to see what works. Now, 85 percent of students complete the course.

Khalilah Reddie, 2017 Faculty Award recipient

Khalilah Reddie had been identified as a "major ally for students." She started a student-led tutoring program for students in Organic Chemistry. This class is considered one of the most challenging courses in the Sciences, but Reddie's dedication to helping students have scientifically improved their performance in these courses. Reddie assists with the tutoring sessions both during the day and in the evening at the residence halls. She is also the recipient of 2017's Center for Learning Faculty Recognition Award. Reddie goes beyond what is expected of professors because of her passion to see students succeed. Her arduous effort and strong work ethic is evident in the love for her students and exemplifies the spirit of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Award.

Girls Inc. advocates on behalf of all girls and delivers life-changing programs. Girls Incorporated of Greater Lowell inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Through creative programs in a safe and nurturing environment, we strive to teach the independence and personal responsibility girls need to succeed. Growing up is serious business! We provide quality enrichment programs after school, during summer and holiday breaks, for girls between the ages of 5 and 18.

Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell, 2017 Group Award Recipient

Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell is a local chapter of the national organization that develops research-based educational programs designed for girls to take risks and master physical, intellectual, and emotional challenges. Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell has partnered with students in the UMass Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program (L-SAMP), specifically within their STEM programming. This organization offers team-building, career development, literacy enhancement, and positive body image activities for girls from childhood to adolescence. One of the L-SAMP interns shared that members of Girls Inc. have a personal and emotional connection to this year's winner because their program exposes children with different upbringings to resources that affirm a positive outlook on life ahead. Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell has demonstrated its commitment to social change, service, and community engagement.

Sabrina Pedersen outside Olsen Hall Photo by Ed Brennen

Sabrina Pedersen, 2017 Student Recipient

Sabrina is deeply passionate about sustainability and environmental justice. She engages the campus community in events that bring awareness to sustainability challenges. Sabrina has also been charged with creating a new student sustainability committee to oversee the sustainability fund. She regularly collaborates with student clubs such as Student Government, Graduate Student Association, UMass Lowell departments and research labs, the Outdoor Adventure Program, and Kayak Center, to name a few. Sabrina captures the essence of this year's them "The Fierce Urgency of Now" when she led the Our Power Walkout with her colleague, Vicki Kurker, at universities across the nation in response to the presidential election. Sabrina believes that climate change is the greatest threat to humanity and is working diligently towards sustainable change.

Watch video of the 2016 MLK celebration!

Questions?

Contact Associate Director of Multicultural Affairs Francine Coston by email at: Francine_Coston@uml.edu.

To see pictures from our 2017 MLK ceremony, please visit our Facebook Page.

Watch our 2016 community collaboration with Murkland Elementary: Lenses of Civil Right: Intersections of Struggle and Progress.