Jacksonville Native Recognized for Leadership at Blackburn

By Jeremy Coumbes on January 23, 2023 at 2:23pm

Blackburn senior Miriam Wali-Uddin (center) holding the MLK Student Leadership Award certificate, with Dr. Margaret Lawler (right), Blackburn's Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, and Dr. Leon Chestang '59 (left) distinguished educator, author, and keynote speaker for Blackburn College's 2023 MLK Convocation. (credit: Blackburn College/Becky Bishop).

Miriam (Mim) Wali-Uddin, a senior Justice Administration major from Jacksonville, IL, has been named the recipient of Blackburn College’s 2023 Martin Luther King Student Leadership Award.

The annual award honors students who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and service to the ideals of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the College.

Wali-Uddin was announced as the award recipient during Blackburn’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation this month.

Blackburn officials say in this morning’s announcement, that on campus, Wali-Uddin serves as president of the Student Senate. As a department manager in Blackburn’s unique Work Program, she oversees students working in academic support, including the library, writing lab, and success center services.

She is an active member of the Black Student Union and Spectrum student organizations and played a significant role in the planning, execution, and success of a 2022 festival that served as a fundraiser for several Carlinville-area charities.

The MLK Student Leadership Award was first presented in 2014 to celebrate the exceptional community-based work Blackburn students undertake. To be eligible, a student must meet one or more pieces of criteria, including exhibiting leadership that has significantly impacted the Blackburn community, exhibiting extraordinary commitment and dedication to service, volunteerism, and social justice, or having persevered to overcome challenges.

The nomination process is coordinated by Dr. Margaret Lawler, Blackburn’s Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, and reviewed by a selection committee of faculty and staff. 

As the 2023 award recipient, Wali-Uddin received a certificate stating her achievement, a $100 prize, and will have her photo displayed with past recipients on the MLK Legacy Wall in the Demuzio Campus Center.