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Oakland University student leaders to be honored for promoting diversity, cultural understanding
The university will recognize eight student leaders at the Keeper of the Dream Awards Celebration on Monday, Jan. 16 on campus.
This year's Keeper of the Dream honorees are Daryl Blackburn, Ashley Chillis, Alex Currington, Anders Engnell, Ashley McCullough, Gabriela Saenz, Jacob Semma and Aditya Tiwari.
"The Keeper of the Dream Awards Celebration is one of the ways that Oakland University honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," said Omar Brown-El, director of the Center for Multicultural Initiatives. "We come together annually to celebrate Dr. King's vision and recognize outstanding students who reflect that vision on campus and in the community."
This year's event will take place from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 16, in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms on OU's campus. The event is free and open to the public.
Keynote speaker: Holly Robinson Peete
With nearly 40 years in the entertainment industry, Robinson Peete is perhaps best known for her roles as Judy Hoffs on the Fox TV police drama 21 Jump Street, Vanessa Russell on the ABC sitcom Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, and Dr. Malena Ellis on the NBC/WB sitcom For Your Love. She also had a recurring role on the hit comedy CBS series Mike & Molly. She served as one of the original five co-hosts of the CBS daytime talk show The Talk and is starring alongside her family in the highly acclaimed docu-series For Peete's Sake on the OWN Network.
In 1997, Robinson Peete and her husband, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, formed the HollyRod Foundation. Her philanthropic efforts have earned her numerous awards and honors, including Ford's Freedom Sisters, American Mentor Award, The Southern California Broadcasters Association Community Service Award and many more.
Robinson Peete is also an accomplished author. For her first book, Get Your Own Damn Beer, I'm Watching the Game: A Women's Guide to Loving Pro Football (2005 Rodale), Robinson Peete won the 2006 Quill Literacy Award and a follow-up to that book A #Crazy Football Momma's Pocket Armchair Guide is in the works.
In 2010, she released her second book, an NAACP Image Award winning children's book entitled My Brother Charlie (Scholastic)
Her longevity and visibility in the entertainment community has led Robinson Peete to a successful career as a trusted spokesperson for some of the country's biggest brands. Her consumer and mom-friendly personal brand has partnered with Target, Toys"R"Us, Colgate, Skechers, EpiPen and Carnation, among many others.
About Keeper of the Dream
Established in 1993, Keeper of the Dream provides annual scholarships of up to $5,000 for students who have demonstrated strong citizenship, scholarship and leadership. Since the program's inception, more than 100 students from a variety of academic majors have been awarded scholarships.
The Keeper of the Dream Awards Celebration is sponsored by the Center for Multicultural Initiatives. Scholarship sponsors include OU Credit Union, OU Alumni Association, Autoliv, Beaumont Health, Lynne & Lia McIntosh Scholarship Fund, Marshall Family Scholar Foundation and KeyBank Foundation.
African American Celebration Month
Keeper of the Dream also marks the start of African American Celebration Month at Oakland, which runs through Thursday, Feb. 16. The campus community will participate in a series of events highlighting the importance of diversity and raising awareness of African American contributions to society.
This year's theme is "Transformative Education: Gateway for the Future." For more information, visit the AACM 2017 website (https://www.oakland.edu/
For more information on the Keeper of the Dream event, call the Center for Multicultural Initiatives at (248) 370-4404 or visit oakland.edu/
Brian Bierley, Oakland University