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Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a crowd in Wash DC
2024 Legacy Awards
"The time is always right to do what is right"

Legacy Awards

Ohio University Southern Council on Diversity and Inclusion

2024 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Legacy Awards and Guidelines 


Equity, inclusion, and diversity are fundamental values we aspire to as a university community. These values were reflected in the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 2024 the Ohio University Southern Council on Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), as part of its annual Community Celebration of Dr. King, will honor individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations for their exemplary social responsibility in adhering to and exemplifying the ideals espoused by Dr. King. These awards seek to honor those who promote Dr. King’s legacy and who capture his vision, spirit, and leadership in ways big and small. 

Nominees for these awards may be any person or organization from throughout the Ohio University Southern service area. Previous recipients of these awards may not be nominated a second time.
Nominations can be submitted by students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the Tri-State community at-large in identifying individuals, institutions, businesses, organizations, or non-profits whose work most merits recognition. Self-nominations are permitted (unless otherwise noted).

Award recipients will be selected at the discretion of the awards selection committee, based upon information provided with the submitted nomination. Award winners will be honored during the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration Reception on January 30, 2024, at 5:30 p.m. and be presented with an award in recognition of their contributions to their communities as exemplified by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Deadline for nominations is December 1, 2023.

“The time is always right to do what is right.”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Award Categories:

“Drum Major” Award (One award given)

Who is Eligible:  Individual (adult or youth), business, and non-profit organization
Nominations can be submitted by students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the Tri-State community at-large.
In a 1968 sermon, Dr. King said, "If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.” 
The “Drum Major” award recognizes an individual or group who demonstrates a commitment to and engages in equity and inclusion efforts in the community. This individual/group has made significant contributions in improving access and opportunity for all by dismantling barriers through putting into place policies, programs, or initiatives to enhance opportunity and success for all people. 

Dr. Charles Jarrett Emerging Leader Award (Two awards given)

Who is Eligible:  Currently enrolled OHIO undergraduate and secondary high school (grades 9-12) student 
Nominations can be submitted by students, faculty, staff, alumni, secondary school district personnel.
The Emerging Leader Award recognizes a currently enrolled OHIO undergraduate and a secondary student (grades 9-12) who demonstrate a deep commitment to creating positive change in their campus, secondary school district, or community. Recipients must be in good academic standing and not be in violation of any university or secondary school district code of conduct standards.
To be considered, nominator should address the following:
    •    What sets this student apart from their peers? Why is this student committed and passionate about this work?
    •    Provide evidence of the impact the student’s work is having on the community. How is it resulting in positive change?
    •    Describe what it is that the student is committed to and how they are going about their commitment. How is this work addressing an issue on a deeper level? How are they addressing the root cause? 
The Emerging Leader Award is presented in memory of Dr. Charles Jarrett. In his 33-year tenure with Ohio University, Dr. Jarrett was guided by a deeply held belief in equality and dignity for all people. His life exemplified a powerful commitment to improving the quality of life in the Tri-State region, especially for young people.

Alumni Humanitarian Award (One award given)

Who is Eligible:  OHIO University Southern graduate
Nominations can be submitted by students, faculty, staff, and alumni of OHIO University.
The Alumni Humanitarian Award is presented to an OHIO alumnus or alumna who, embodies the spirit of volunteerism and sense of community. Alumni are nominated for this award for demonstrating honesty, dignity for others, integrity, responsibility, and promoting the common good; and through voluntary service or a chosen profession, have made a significant contribution of leadership or service which has had influence on the well-being of others. 

Beloved Community Service Award (One award given)

Who is Eligible:  Adult, youth, or a business/organization
Nominations can be submitted by students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the Tri-State community at-large.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”   In this quote by Dr. King he understands that leaders are motivated by creating a positive change in the lives of others. The Beloved Community Service Award celebrates the spirit and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as demonstrated through caring, compassion, understanding, and tolerance for all people. 
The Community Service Awards recognizes extraordinary contributions of an adult, youth, or a business/organization impacting the community through voluntary community service. Nominations should include individuals or organizations who have made significant contributions to the community through programs and activities that help revitalize our community and make it a more desirable place to live. The selection panel will consider special qualities demonstrated by the nominee and the nominee’s resourcefulness while performing community service. The frequency of the activity as well as the length of service will also be considered.