Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

MLK speaking

The 34th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Awards

The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration was held on:

Thursday, January 19, 2023
Hepburn Hall, Gothic Lounge (H-202)


Andrés Acebo, Interim President, NJCU

Opening Remarks / Introduction of Keynote Speaker
Dr. Donna Breault, Acting Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, NJCU

Keynote Speaker
Dr. Aishah Scott
Assistant Professor of Black Studies and Health Science
Providence College

Student Scholarship Awards
Venida C. Rodman Jenkins, M.Div., Director, Speicher-Rubin Women's Center for Equity and Diversity
President, Black Alumni Administrators, Faculty, Students, and Staff Organization (BAAFSSO)

Closing Remarks
Dr. Jermaine McCalpin, Chair, Associate Professor and Genocide Scholar
African and African American Studies Program, NJCU

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Aishah Scott

Dr. Aishah Scott

Assistant Professor of Black Studies and Health Science at Providence College

Dr. Aishah Scott is a jointly appointed Assistant Professor of Black Studies and Health Science at Providence College. She is an advocate for social justice and closing gaps in healthcare for underrepresented communities. Her article "Erased by Respectability: The Intersections of AIDS, Race, and Gender in Black America" will be in the next issue of the Women, Gender, and Families of Color journal. Additionally, she has been interviewed about the state of Black health in America by NPR, Marketplace, among others and given many talks about racial health disparities disproportionately impacting the Black community in the United States. Dr. Scott is working on her book manuscript entitled, Respectability Can’t Save You: The AIDS Epidemic in Urban Black America. This work focuses on the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the African American community and the role of “respectability politics,” or moral policing, on state and community leaders from 1980-2010.

Dr. Scott teaches courses on AIDS, Race, and Gender in the Black Community, The Evolution of Black Politics, Health Policy, and Racial Health Disparities. In her classrooms, she pushes students to go beyond the surface of complex issues and to think about the application of history to their daily lives. She received her Ph.D. in Twentieth-Century American History at Stony Brook University where she specialized in the history of race and medicine. She previously earned her Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Stony Brook. She was also a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University.

She was recently awarded a grant from the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion office at Providence College to host a Health Equity speaker series. Her efforts in research, mentorship and community building were recognized by Stony Brook’s Center for Inclusive Education with the 2017 Scholar Award for Excellence and the 2019 Stony Brook Alumni Life Member Award.

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 2023. Two students who best exemplify Dr. King’s ideals will each receive a $500 scholarship. 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. Students that have received the Dr. King Scholarship in the past are ineligible to compete.

Student Scholarship Competition

Topic: Making a Career of Humanity: Making a Life-Long Commitment to Social Justice

Deadline: Friday, January 6, 11:59 p.m.

  • Written Essay (limit to 500 words, single-spaced) or Digital Entry (podcast, video, website; 10 minute maximum)
  • Unofficial Transcript

In his address at the Youth March for Integrated Schools on April 18, 1959, Dr. King stressed the importance of committing to the fight for equity and equality. He urged the young attendees to “make a career of humanity” and engage in activities that promote social justice alongside their intended professional paths. As he stated, “whatever career you may choose...let me propose an avocation to be pursued along with it. Become a dedicated fighter for civil rights.” This notion aligns well with New Jersey City University’s motto, “Enter to learn, exit to serve.”

Question: While there has been much progress in the struggle for civil rights, inequalities persist in many areas. These inequalities necessitate the need for a continued fight for social justice. How do you see yourself promoting social justice, equity, and inclusion after you graduate and work in your intended field? How can you incorporate a commitment to service within your intended career? How would society benefit if everyone in the country heeded Dr. King’s call and made a career of humanity?


  • Enrolled at NJCU for the Fall 2022 semester. The application is also contingent upon your Spring 2023 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 2022 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