Seven recipients honored at NAACP Image Awards

Seven MU students, faculty and organizations were selected to receive these awards.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Unit 4731 hosted the 10th annual Image Awards ceremony on April 26. This event serves to honor the accomplishments of seven MU students, faculty and organizations every year.

Dr. Medgar Evers political award recipient: Payton Head

Junior Payton Head was awarded the Dr. Medgar Evers award for his involvement with several organizations.

Head chairs the Missouri Students Association Senate’s Social Justice Committee. It was this position, he said, which contributed the most to his earning the award.

“I believe I won this award because of the action that I have taken this year to make our campus more inclusive,” Head said.

Head said he does not believe he could have won the award without the help of the members of SJC.

“Although my name is on the award, I firmly believe that the members of SJC are the reason why I have been honored,” Head said.

Myrlie Evers Student Leader of the Year recipient: Curtis Taylor Jr. Senior Curtis Taylor Jr. was named Myrlie Evers Student Leader of the Year.

During his years at MU, he has been involved in several organizations, including the Legion of Black Collegians, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, National Pan-Hellenic Council, Mizzou Black Men's Initiative and Big XII Council.

Taylor said he believes he received this honor from the dedication he puts into his work at MU. He said his leadership style is based not only on being selfless and serving his community, but also remembering that a leader isn’t assessed by their awards, but rather by the leaders they create in others.

“To me this award means the world, because it wasn't something I applied for but rather something that I was nominated for,” Taylor said. “It made me feel like the strides that I have made these past four years haven't went unnoticed and that I had indeed changed the climate of this campus.”

Coretta Scott King Organization of the Year recipient: Missouri Students Association Social Justice Committee

The Social Justice Committee received the Coretta Scott King Organization of the Year.

“We actively engage with social justice centers and organizations and try our best to reflect their interest in Senate,” said vice chairwoman Young Kwon.

Both Head and Kwon agree that this was a successful year for their organization.

“For the first time, we created a mission statement for ourselves,” said Head.

Their mission statement affirms their job as a committee to unify MU and make it more inclusive. Head and Kwon said they make sure that SJC follows their mission statement regarding everything they do on campus.

“The award really motivated us to keep working hard and do our best,” Kwon said. “We will (continue to) try to get the voice of marginalized and minoritized students heard in MSA.”

Dr. Carter G. Wood Educational Awareness Award recipient: Alpha Phi Alpha

The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity was awarded the Dr. Carter G. Wood Educational Awareness Award.

The brotherhood works diligently to serve their community in accordance to their mission: “Manly Deeds, Scholarship and Love for All Mankind."

“I believe Alpha Phi Alpha won this award because we have dedicated a huge amount of time to commit to service,” recording secretary and historian Jordan Williams said. “Our fraternity's aims are what we use to shape each of our events and initiatives. We believe that it is truly necessary to be of service and assistance to the MU community in the most effective way possible. We always seek to educate, create conversation and find solutions to relevant issues affecting the community that we serve.”

They gave $5,500 in scholarship money to the winners of their Miss Black and Gold Scholarship Pageant, and also awarded a total of $550 in scholarship money to the top two winners of their Clarence B. Wine Oratorical Competition and raised money to donate to the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, Williams said.

George Washington Carver Scholastic Achievement Award Recipient: Joe L. Rowles III

Joe L. Rowles III received the George Washington Carver Scholastic Achievement Award for his overall academic achievement at MU.

Rowles is involved in his own work in science research and with Exposure to Research for Science Students as a peer mentor to other students interested in science research.

“I want to help other people live a successful life,” Rowles said.

Rowles also led a Mizzou Alternative Breaks trip to Alabama and spends time outside of the classroom with Habitat for Humanity.

Rowles said he is passionate about learning and helping other people. He said that he feels the award and being part of a legacy of academic achievement is an honor.

Langston Hughes Creative Arts Award Recipient: Legion of Black Collegians Activities Committee

The Legion of Black Collegians Activities Committee received the Langston Hughes Creative Arts Award.

Former LBC Activities Chair Curtis Taylor Jr. said the committee was responsible for events at MU such as LBC Homecoming and Black Love Week.

Taylor said that he and the committee worked on creative initiatives and innovation in their programming such as glow-in-the-dark Zumba and a chili cook-off.

“We focused on collaboration with other LBC organizations to also ensure their success,” Taylor said.

Such collaboration occurred with the programming about college dropouts that was organized with the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity during LBC Homecoming.

Booker T. Washington Adviser of the Year Award Recipient: Brian Booton

MU staff member and Missouri School of Journalism alum Brian Booton received the Booker T. Washington Advisor of the Year Award.

On campus, Booton works to coordinate the Initiative for Maximizing Student Representation, a nationwide student development program for institutions with research-intensive environments.

Booton helped to create Exposure to Research for Science Students, the MU chapter of IMSD, is a program which helps increase the number of underrepresented students who go into biomedical research.

“Part of the goal for the program is to build a support for minority medical students while facilitating undergraduate research,” Booton said.

EXPRESS also has a peer mentorship program to help freshman and sophomore students succeed academically and with research.

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