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Twenty Honored at Ebony Harlem’s 25th Anniversary

The African American Cultural Center hosted the 25th anniversary of the Ebony Harlem Awards of Excellence on Sunday, April 29, 2018. Since its inauguration in 1993, the awards program has celebrated Black academic, cultural and social excellence at NC State. Following the AACC’s appreciation of West African Adinkra symbols, this year’s theme and symbol was the Wawa Aba, which represents hardiness, toughness and perseverance.

Dr. Tracey Ray and Aaliyah RayWith the help of sponsors AYA Ambassadors, the Black Alumni Society, the Alumni Association and Multicultural Student Affiars, the theme helped to commemorate the continuation of a rich legacy of student impact and collaboration. This special program recognizes NC State students, faculty and staff who reflect and represent, through their leadership, dedication and talents, the mission of the African American Cultural Center.

In addition to recognizing Black student, staff, and faculty success, the event also served as a showcase of unity within the Black community on campus. Over 250 people across the different NC State colleges, programs and centers mixed and mingled over dinner and dessert while also celebrating Black histories and futures at NC State and within the community.

Attendees were able to enjoy Black entertainment with a breakout performance by the Caged Bird Society, a spoken word group, featuring students Camerian Williams and Jordan Bullock. Performances by local artists/musicians DJ Kato and performing arts group Sankofa Drumming and Dance, who both specialize in music of the African diaspora, created an atmosphere of community and culture.

Ebony Harlem Award recipients

Twenty recipients earned awards in creative arts, leadership, academic achievement and community and university service:

2018 Ebony Harlem Award Recipients

Dance Award
Mary Afuye

Instrumental Music Award
Megumi “Grace” Anning Yoshihara

Vocal Music Award
Camerian Williams

Dramatic Performance Award
Jordan Williams

Art Award
Danielle Marble

Literary Talent Award
Shawn Fredericks

Toni “Mama Thorpe” Humanitarian Award
Jordan Anderson

Joanne Woodard Leadership Award
Achaia Dent

Distinguished Person Augustus Witherspoon Award
Talazia Moore

Nash Winstead Achievement Award
Alonzo Fullenwilder

Graduate Student Impact Award
Erin Elliot

Graduate Student Outstanding Research Award
Kayelyn Simmons

Mate Masie Faculty Award
Dr. Jamila Simpson

Nkonsonkonson Staff Award
Leah Young

AACC Legacy Award
Dr. Tracey Ray

Center of the Year Award
Multicultural Student Affairs

NC State African American Firsts Award
Kobi C. Felton

Distinguished Alumni Award
Dr. Tracey Ray

Distinguished Alumni Award
Stephanie Cogdell

Young Alumni Award
Tyler Allen

Erin Elliot is a graduate assistant in the African American Cultural Center.