The City of Kalamazoo is currently seeking nominations for the 2021 Social Justice Youth Awards. The awards recognize youth between the ages of 12 and 19 for community service, volunteerism, and leadership towards causes that promote justice and equity for everyone.
Nominations are accepted from adults who work with youth, such as teachers, advisors, mentors, or coaches. Nominations can be submitted online, by mail, or by fax through 5 p.m. on Monday, December 7 at https://www.kalamazoocity.org/mlkday.
The City of Kalamazoo presents one award in honor of Dr. Lewis Walker, a trailblazer for the progression of racial equity in Kalamazoo. Additional awards are also presented by the program’s sponsors: Life EMS, Fifth Third Bank, Schupan & Sons, Consumers Energy, Kalamazoo Non-Violent Opponents of War, and Lodge-Dennis. Award recipients also receive a $300 scholarship.
“Even amid a pandemic, youth in Kalamazoo are continuing to make a difference and set an example, not just for their peers,” said Kalamazoo Mayor David Anderson. “I am so proud of what they are achieving and it’s an honor to present these awards each year and celebrate this work.”
The Social Justice Youth Awards are presented by the City Commission each January as part of Kalamazoo’s celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Community-Wide Day of Service and other group activities have been canceled in January 2021. Instead, community members are encouraged to find ways to help others that can be done safely without putting anyone’s health at risk. Social Justice Youth Award winners will still be recognized for their accomplishments in January.
“The best thing we can do to honor Dr. King is to live his values every day. We will be proud to recognize the young leaders in our community that are setting this example, even if we can’t come together in service and celebration of Dr. King in January.”