Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

The 32nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Awards

MLK speaking

The annual Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration will be held on January 19, 2021, at 10 a.m. The theme will be "The Soul of America: Fighting for Liberation and Everyday Justice."

You may now submit materials for two awards which will be announced during the ceremony.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award

On behalf of the Lee Hagan Africana Studies Center Advisory Council, we invite employees to consider nominating an NJCU colleague (faculty, staff, or administrator) for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award. 

To Nominate a Colleague

Please download the PDF, read the directions and submit your nominee by emailing hagancenter@njcu.edu no later than Monday, January 11, at 11:59 p.m.

Nominate a Colleague

Previous Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award Winners 
Bob and Christine Arey, Dr. Gloria Boseman, Dr. JoAnn Bruno, Tamara Cunningham, Louise Diaz, Dr. Joseph Drew, Dr. Antoinette Ellis-Williams, Gayle Ford, Bruce Harman, David Paul Howard, Sheila Kirven, Venida Rodman Jenkins, Dr. Ansely Lamar, Dr. Jose Moralés, Renata Moreira, Jennifer Mullan, ennifer Musial, Sister Anaka Persimmon, Emmanuel Pierre-Louis, and Andrew Platizky

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Awards

The Lee Hagan Africana Studies Center is pleased to announce the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship for Spring 2021. Two scholarships, in the amount of $500 each, will be awarded to two (2) students who best exemplify Dr. King’s ideals. A selection committee consisting of the NJCU community will review applications and select the two scholarship recipients. All continuing NJCU students are invited to apply for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship. Students who have been awarded the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship in the past are not eligible.

Student Scholarship Competition

Topic: The Soul of America

Deadline: Monday, January 11, 11:59 p.m.

  • Essay (500 words) OR a Digital Essay (website, video, etc.—no more than 5 minutes)
  • Unofficial Transcript

In his 1960 speech, “The Negro and the American Dream,” given at the Annual Freedom Mass Meeting of the North Carolina State conference of Branches of the NAACP, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. described America as “a dream yet unfulfilled.” King noted that since the nation’s founding, America has been “torn between two selves—a self in which she has proudly professed democracy and a self in which she has sadly practiced the antithesis of democracy.” This year, the nation has been further torn—by the COVID-19 pandemic and a bitterly fought election, evoking Dr. King’s suggestion that it may well be African Americans that “save the soul of America.” However, Dr. King ends the speech by recognizing that the “soul” rested with “young students [who] have taken the deep groans and the passionate yearnings of the Negro people and filtered them in their own souls and fashioned a creative protest…in pursuit of a goal of human dignity and freedom.”

In an essay, reflect on Dr. King’s speech. What role do you think students, have to play in this pursuit of human dignity and freedom? What are some of the ways you have contributed to or believe you can contribute to this pursuit? 


  • Enrolled at NJCU for the Fall 2020 semester. The application is also contingent upon your Spring 2021 full-time registration with at least 12 credits. 
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 at the time of application and at the end of the Fall 2020 semester. 
  • Have completed a minimum of 12 college-level credits at NJCU. Transfer students may be eligible after completing a semester at NJCU, provided they meet other requirements. 
  • Students who won the scholarship in the past are not eligible. 

To Apply

Email materials to hagancenter@njcu.edu

About the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship
Income from this fund is awarded annually to a student who best emulates the ideals of Martin Luther King Jr. Established in 1968, this scholarship is intended to help disadvantaged young men and women who might, because of the fund, have an opportunity to attend the college. 

For additional information, contact the Lee Hagan Africana Studies Center. hagancenter@njcu.edu 201-200-3524