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LINKS among recipients of UCM Social Justice Awards

Ohio University’s LINKS program was presented with the United Campus Ministry’s Social Justice Award Wednesday, April 17.

The mission of the United Campus Ministry is to engage the Ohio University and Athens communities in spiritual growth, work for social justice and community service guided by socially progressive and interfaith values. Every year, UCM’s Board of Directors selects local activists and organizations to honor with Social Justice Awards.

The LINKS program at Ohio University is offered through the Office of Multicultural Student Access and Retention with the intent of promoting diversity within OHIO’s student population.

Essentially, LINKS is a peer-mentoring program for freshman multicultural students. Through LINKS, successful upper-class students serve as mentors to first-year students, acting as role models and assisting in the difficult transition from high school to college. Through education and equal opportunities, LINKS empowers students to become productive citizens able to fully participate and compete in society.

All multicultural and disproportionately represented students are encouraged to attend the LINKS pre-matriculation program. However, Templeton Scholars, King Chavez Parks Scholars, Urban Scholars, and recipients of the Ohio University Incentive Award are all required to participate in LINKS.

Cecil Walters, director of the Office of Multicultural Student Access and Retention, said being recognized by the local community is an honor that Ohio University can be proud of.

“Our undergraduates have been progressively humbled and enlightened through direct engagement with organizations such as United Christian Ministries and Good Works,” Walters said.  “OMSAR's community service initiative has truly provided a transformational learning experience for students.”

Along with LINKS, Appalachia Resist!, Asterisk: Athens Area Trans* Advocates, Tyler Barton, the Ohio University Chapter of the Hip Hop Congress, Tracy Kelly and Nami Athens all received 2013 Social Justice Awards.