With the end of the 2012-13 academic year come occasions to reflect, remember, and give praise. Once such occasion was the 2013 Ebony Harlem Awards on Friday, April 26, 2013, held jointly by the African American Cultural Center and Multicultural Student Affairs, both units of the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity. The Ebony Harlem Awards honor the year's highest achievements by NC State students affiliated with each of these two active campus centers and/or active in NC State's vibrant African American community. Qualifying students were nominated by faculty, staff, and administrators from the African American Cultural Center and the African American Student Advisory Council (AASAC) and then selected by student vote.
This year's Ebony Harlem Awards program began with a welcome from African American Cultural Center Director Dr. Sheila Smith McKoy and ceremony hosts Victoria Adesanmi and Julian Tucker, both current NC State students. Following an invocation by Jasmine White-Bynum and a performance by Uninhibited Praise Gospel Choir, the awards were presented (see sidebar at left).
After the presentation of awards, Multicultural Student Affairs Director Rod Bradley led the second half of the program, during which newly appointed leaders of the AASAC organizations participated in the New Officers' Installation Ceremony. The ceremony included the presentation of the student leaders to the Council of Advisors and Executive Board and a recitation of the Leadership Oath and the Unity Oath. AASAC Graduating Seniors were given special recognition and gifts by the NC State Black Alumni Society (BAS), a constituent group of the NC State Alumni Association. Mrs. Diane Becton (BAS Co-Founder) and Ms. Courtney Simpson (BAS Young Alumni Chair) presented the gifts.
The night ended with the traditional Harambee, or "coming together," in which all attendees joined hands in a circle and, led by African American Cultural Center Program Director Toni Thorpe, shouted "Harambee" seven times, holding the ending syllable for as long as possible with hands raised, signifying unity.
It was a night that will be added to the memory books of many accomplished young women and men who will go on to achieve throughout their lives. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!