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SIUE MLK Awards Luncheon Welcomes Crowd, Honors Leaders

A crowd of more than 250 people gathered during a luncheon Tuesday to celebrate the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's annual MLK Humanitarian and Scholarship Awards.

The presentation, A Monumental Year: It's Our Time to Act-A Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., featured the performance, Stand, by the Black Theater Workshop Touring Company and the SIUE East St. Louis Center Performing Arts Company. This year's guest speaker was East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks Jr.

Award winners included:

  • Deontay "Sean" Crawford of Springfield, a junior majoring in biological sciences with a concentration in dentistry through the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences. Crawford is the recipient of the MLK Scholarship and Humanitarian Award;

  • Cheryl Heard, assistant director of the SIUE Kimmel Leadership Center, who has worked for positive social change for 16 years through St. Louis area the grass roots organization, Racial Harmony, is the Faculty/Staff Humanitarian Award recipient;

  • The Rev. Dorris Davis, founder of the Dorris Davis Helping Hands Shelter for homeless men in East St. Louis and dedicated community volunteer, was chosen as the recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service award;

  • Jacob Till-Meidinger of Belleville, a senior at Belleville West High School, for the high school visual art award;

  • Berit Ericson of Columbia, a senior at Waterloo High School, for the high school poetry award;

  • Richard Roberts of Alton, a sophomore at Alton High School, recipient of the high school essay award.

As part of the event, members of the SIUE Gospel Choir performed during a reception in the Goshen Lounge.