Social Justice Awards 2024 Recipients Announced

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AI bias expert Dr. Joy Buolamwini will deliver the keynote speech at the May 1 event.

Social justice awardees
Clockwise from top left, Dr. Joy Buolamwini will be the keynote speaker at the Social Justice Awards 2024, where recipients are the Fuerza Farmworkers’ Fund, Alan Chow, the Class of 1974 Mortality Disparity Working Group, Zantasia Johnson, Ella Bell Smith, Brian Messier, Kristin Powell ’10, and Daniel Lucey ’77, MED ’82.

The upcoming annual Social Justice Awards ceremony will honor outstanding individuals and organizations for their commitment to civil rights, social and environmental justice, and health equity, which has garnered attention both locally and globally.

The May 1 event will feature keynote speaker Dr. Joy Buolamwini, a distinguished researcher, artist, model, and bestselling author of Unmasking AI. Buolamwini, founder of the Algorithmic Justice League and revered as the “Poet of Code,” utilizes a unique blend of research and art to shed light on the societal impacts of artificial intelligence—revealing biases and addressing associated harms with significant insight.

Buolamwini, who earned a PhD from MIT, advises world leaders on preventing AI harms, lending her expertise to congressional hearings and government agencies seeking to enact equitable and accountable AI policy. Her TED AI talk on protecting human rights in an age of AI transforms the boundaries of TED talks. Her research on facial recognition technologies transformed the field of AI auditing, and her TED talk on algorithmic bias has been viewed over 1.7 million times. 

Joy Buolamwini
Keynote speaker Dr. Joy Buolamwini is the founder of the Algorithmic Justice League and an expert on bias in artificial intelligence.

“Dr. Joy has coupled her passion in art and purpose in fighting for algorithmic justice to enlighten us on AI’s societal influence and advocate for fairer AI practices. We are thrilled to host her on our campus as we celebrate this year’s Social Justice Award recipients, each of whom is boldly advancing various aspects of social justice, contributing to a more equitable world,” says Shontay Delalue, senior vice president and senior diversity officer. “Our award recipients are actively engaged in essential efforts, from providing vital input on the impact of global diseases to championing the amplification of diverse student voices.”

Considering herself a bit of a nomad, Buolamwini was born in Edmonton, Alberta, but spent her early childhood in Ghana before coming to the United States at age 4. She was a Rhodes Scholar, a Fulbright Fellow, a recipient of the Technological Innovation Award from the Martin Luther King Jr. Center and was awarded an honorary degree from Knox College.

Her writing and work have been featured in such publications as TIME, The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Rolling Stone, and The Atlantic, and her work as a spokesmodel has been featured in Vogue, Allure, Harper’s Bazaar, and People magazine. Buolamwini is the protagonist in the Emmy-Nominated documentary Coded Bias, streaming on Netflix.

This year’s recipients of the Social Justice Awards, presented in six different categories, are:

The Emerging Leadership Award

Recognizing individuals who have served less than 10 years in a chosen field of work or are recent graduates.

Zantasia (Zan) Johnson

Assistant Director, Office of Pluralism and Leadership

This award acknowledges Johnson’s impactful contributions as assistant director, particularly in her dedicated support of Black/Pan African student advising. Johnson’s leadership within the Black Caucus and the Empowering Women of Color employee resource networks, as well as her active involvement in committees aimed at fostering change and community, such as the Dartmouth Intergenerational Mentorship Experience program and the Dialogue Project, are commendable and deserving of recognition.

The Lifetime Achievement Award

Honoring an individual who has dedicated more than 20 years to their chosen field.

Ella Bell Smith

Professor of Business Administration, Tuck School of Business

This award is in recognition of Bell Smith’s life-long contributions as a beloved professor of over 20 years, founding faculty director of the Tuck Initiative on Workplace Inclusion, and role as a social justice leader––challenging students, colleagues, and corporations on their notions of race, gender, and class.

The Holly Fell Sateia Award 

Celebrating the legacy of the late Holly Fell Sateia, Guarini ’82, vice president for institutional diversity and equity, emerita, who recognized diversity as a vibrant part of Dartmouth’s mission.

Brian Messier

Director of Bands and Senior Liaison for Hopkins Center Ensembles at Dartmouth

Messier’s outstanding work and dedication to the Mexican Repertoire Initiative, and its impactful mission and efforts to increase awareness of the ongoing racism, inequality, and underrepresentation of Latinx communities in the wind band world, has earned Messier this prestigious acknowledgement.

Alan Chow

Member of the Catering Staff, Hanover Inn

Chow’s outstanding commitment, genuine engagement, and overall dedication to Dartmouth, the Hanover Inn, its banquets team, and the many colleagues, students, staff, and faculty who Chow has encountered through the years has earned him this esteemed recognition.

The Ongoing Commitment Award

Honoring an individual who has dedicated between 10 and 20 years to a chosen field.

Dartmouth Class of 1974 Mortality Disparity Working Group

Committee Members: Bill Geiger, Mike Thomas, Jerry Bowe, Peter Haffenreffer, Rick Ranger, Matt Putnam, Morris “Rocky” Whitaker, Bill White, Phil Stebbins

This award honors the group’s tireless work and dedication to recognizing, addressing, and increasing education around the issue of racial disparities in public health. For their 50th reunion, the group is raising $500,000 for a health equity fund, helping contribute to research and a future where race doesn’t dictate health outcomes.

Kristin Powell ’10

Deputy Director, Black Futures Lab

This award is in recognition of Powell’s diligent work to increase the political power of the Black community through Black Futures Lab, including spearheading the largest-ever Black census poll––which will be used to identify priority issues and shape public policies that advance social justice.

The Student Organization Award

Honoring a student group for its commitment to promoting social justice in our community and beyond.

Fuerza Farmworkers’ Fund

This award honors the dedication exhibited in aiding migrant laborers within the Upper Valley community, offering crucial support in health care accessibility, language proficiency development, and financial barrier alleviation.

The Lester B. Granger ’18 Award

Recognizing a Dartmouth graduate or graduates whose lifelong commitment to public service has been exemplary. Granger Award recipients have exhibited leadership and innovation in meeting community needs and benefiting an underserved population.

Daniel Lucey ’77, MED ’82

Clinical Professor of Medicine, Adjunct Professor of Health Policy and Clinical Practice

This award honors Lucey’s extraordinary work and dedication as an international infectious disease specialist, focusing on the intersection of infectious diseases and historically marginalized populations. Additionally, Lucey consistently advocates for governments and international organizations to implement more proactive and heightened measures in order to enhance their readiness in the face of global health epidemics.

Learn more about the 2024 honorees.

The Social Justice Awards ceremony is co-sponsored by Institutional Diversity and Equity, the William Jewett Tucker Center, the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact, the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee, and Geisel School of Medicine.

This event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is requested.

Jocelyn Williams