Four Alumni and One Student Group Honored with 2012 Social Justice Awards


Dartmouth’s 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Awards honor alumni and students who are enriching the world through their contributions to issues of civil rights and social justice.

The awards will be presented at a public event on Friday, January 27, at 4:30 p.m. in the Collis Common Ground. The ceremony will include a panel discussion with the honorees and a reception.

President Jim Yong Kim, Vice President for Institutional Diversity & Equity Evelynn Ellis, Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson, Chris O’Connell ’13, and The Rockapellas singing group will participate in the event.

This year’s honorees are listed below. For full biographies, visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration website.


Chidi Achebe, DMS ’96 (photo by Jon Gilbert Fox)

Chidi C. Achebe, DMS ’96

Ongoing Commitment Award

Achebe is president and CEO of the Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center, which provides preventative and clinical care to underserved families and children in Boston communities including North Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury.


Rebecca Heller ’05 (courtesy of Rebecca Heller)

Rebecca M. Heller ’05

Emerging Leadership Award

As director and co-founder of the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, Heller provides direct legal aid to refugees overseas applying for resettlement in the U.S., Canada, and other countries.


Jessica Lawson ’04 (courtesy of Jessica Lawson)

Jessica R. Lawson ’04

Emerging Leadership Award

Lawson is co-founder and associate director of The Mariposa DR Foundation, a community-run organization that works to develop solutions to alleviate extreme poverty in the Dominican Republic, with a focus on empowering girls.


Michael Mascari (courtesy of Michael Mascari)

Michael W. Mascari ’65

The Lester B. Granger ’18 Award for Lifetime Achievement, presented by the Tucker Foundation

Mascari is executive director of AHRC Nassau and Affiliates, an agency that provides support to more than 4,000 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Long Island, N.Y.


Students For Africa (courtesy of Students For Africa)

Students for Africa

Student Organization Award

Students for Africa recently held its inaugural Mbele Africa Convention, which drew more than 12 participants from 12 colleges and focused on the theme, “Youth’s Role in Taking Africa Forward.”

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