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Social Justice Awards presented to university community

The University of South Carolina’s Martin Luther King Jr. Committee presented it 2011 Social Justice Awards Friday, Jan. 14, to four members of the university community who exemplify the philosophies of Dr. King through their acts of community service, social justice or racial reconciliation.

The awards are presented to faculty, staff and students.

The faculty award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in teaching, research or creative work, service and outreach.

Dr. Patricia Wilson-Witherspoon, medical director of the department of family medicine, was one of two recipients of the 2011 Social Justice Award for faculty. She trains residents in advocating for their patients.

“I like to take care of the individual patient because everyone can’t advocate for himself,” she said. “I am humbled that the work that I do is deemed worthy of this recognition.”

Also receiving the 2011 faculty award was Dr. Sacoby M. Wilson, environmental researcher in the Institute for Families in Society. Wilson studies how communities are impacted by environmental hazards.

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the grandfather of environmental justice, and my work is a continuation of his work,” he said. “I try to bring science into poor communities and show them how to get involved and improve their quality of life.”

Andrea Williams, associate director for the Institute for Partnerships to Eliminate Health Disparities (IPEHD) received the 2011 staff award. Williams helps develop the career paths of students pursuing degrees in the health profession.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as someone who followed the example of Dr. King by helping pave the way for others to succeed,” she said. “It’s a blessing to be able to help others succeed, and that’s what Dr. King was all about.”

The 2011 student award was given to Arnold School of Public Health Ph.D. candidate India D. Rose for her work and commitment to winning equal rights for the gay community. “A right delayed is a right denied, and the rights of the LGBT community have been denied long enough,” she said.

Rose is a program facilitator in Atlanta for lesbian and bisexual youth.

Staff and student awards recognize outstanding accomplishments in community service, social-justice outreach and racial reconciliation.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 01/14/11 @ 4:15 PM | Updated: 01/14/11 @ 4:25 PM | Permalink

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