The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. … You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”
As hundreds of people gathered today for the annual MLK Leadership Breakfast at IU Bloomington, a table of IU students, faculty and staff — this year’s Building Bridges Award winners — were the shining example of King’s words.
The award, given out each year, recognizes people who capture King’s vision, spirit and leadership.
Among the recipients was Brian Richardson Jr., assistant director of the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion at the School of Public Health-Bloomington. In his role, Richardson focuses on recruitment and retention; programming; and community outreach. He said his goal is to create opportunities for students of color to know that they matter and can be successful. Outside of IU, Richardson serves as a mentor to young people in the community. He founded the Krimson Leadership Academy at Fairview Elementary School, where he introduces fourth- and fifth-grade boys to media, activities and discussions focused around the development of young men of color. He also participates in the Real Men Read program through the Monroe County Community School Corp. and has worked with youth at Banneker Community Center. “It is a true honor, and I am extremely humbled to have been thought of for this award,” he said. “I am excited and grateful to have been named among the 2018 winners of this award, and I hope to continue to keep Dr. King’s dream alive.”
“This year’s Building Bridges Award winners are a shining example of students, faculty and staff who have shown tremendous leadership and commitment — in ways big and small — to promoting equality, diversity and respect,” said John Nieto-Phillips, associate vice president for the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs. “The faculty, staff and students honored today embody the vision, spirit and legacy of Dr. King, and we are proud to honor them for their dedication to serving others and commitment to making a difference right here at IU and within our community.”