Kalamazoo College is pleased to announce receipt of 188 entries for its inaugural Kalamazoo College Global Prize for Collaborative Social Justice Leadership. Entry deadline for this juried competition was March 8.
Applicants hailed from 25 states and the District of Columbia, and from 23 countries. Numerous entries came from Michigan, including 14 from Southwest Michigan and the Kalamazoo area. A handful of entries came from Kalamazoo College students and alumni.
“We are awestruck by the number and scope of entrants, and at the same time not surprised by the incredible outpouring of brilliance and innovation among our applicants,” said Jaime Grant, executive director of K’s Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership (ACSJL) which is coordinating the competition.
Lisa Brock, ACSJL academic director noted that, “Movements for social justice all around the globe are making daring experiments and breathtaking commitments to their vision for a more just world. This is clearly reflected in the entries we received.”
Brock reported that entries came from Argentina, Canada, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, India (3), Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal (2), Palestine, Pakistan, Rwanda, South Africa (2), Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda (2), and Yemen.
Applicants submitted 8- to 10-minute videos describing their collaborative structure, vision, and strategic approach to addressing a variety of human rights and social justice issues including: mass incarceration, health inequities, economic injustice, youth empowerment, food justice, racism, environmental sustainability, healing and self-determination, arts and theatre activism, educational access and equity, faith organizing, workers’ rights, immigration, micro-lending and social entrepreneurship, community organizing, indigenous activism, restorative justice, housing rights, LGBTQ liberation and peace and conflict resolution.
Finalists will be announced April 15 and invited to the Kalamazoo College campus for a two-day event, May 10-11, during which their work will be presented, discussed and voted upon by audience members and jurists. Two winners—one to receive a $25,000 Global Prize and one to receive a $5,000 Regional prize from Southwest Michigan—will be announced on Saturday, May 11 at 7:15 pm by Kalamazoo College President, Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran.
Jurors for the $25,000 Global Prize include author, political activist, and University of California—Santa Cruz scholar Angela Y. Davis; former Executive Director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission Cary Alan Johnson; and Detroit-based author, educator, and columnist shea howell. Howell is also a board member of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, in Detroit.
Jurors for the $5,000 Regional Prize include members of the Arcus Center Advisory Board, a panel of K students, faculty, staff, and Kalamazoo community members.
More information about the Kalamazoo College Global Prize for Collaborative Social Justice Leadership is available at www.kzoo.edu/SocialJusticeLeadershipPrize.
The Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership (www.kzoo.edu/socialjustice) was launched in 2009 with support from the Arcus Foundation (www.arcusfoundation.org), including a $23 million endowment grant in January 2012. Supporting Kalamazoo College’s mission to prepare its graduates to better understand, live successfully within, and provide enlightened leadership to a richly diverse and increasingly complex world, the ACSJL will develop new leaders and sustain existing leaders in the field of human rights and social justice.
Kalamazoo College (www.kzoo.edu), founded in Kalamazoo, Mich., in 1833, is a nationally recognized liberal arts college and the creator of the K-Plan that emphasizes rigorous scholarship, experiential learning, leadership development, and international and intercultural engagement. Kalamazoo College does more in four years so students can do more in a lifetime.