NAACP Image Awards recognizes dedicated MU students, faculty

The NAACP Image Awards highlighted some of the artistic talents at MU and recognized deserving faculty and staff members with awards to celebrate diversity and social justice.

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As the sun set over Memorial Student Union, Stotler Lounge filled with attendees for the MU student chapter of NAACP for its annual Image Awards. The event, held on Feb. 17, gave recognition to many deserving people in the MU community and gave others a chance to showcase their talents like music and fashion.

Students and faculty were awarded for their participation in promoting diversity and social justice around campus.

Sophomore Kaitlyn Barksdale heard about the event through a friend and thought it would be a good place to debut two of her new pieces from her business Kate’s Crochets. Barksdale feels that people of color as individuals don’t get the spotlight enough at MU for their successes.

“Events that spotlight our specific community, I think not only promotes others to focus on their craft ... but I feel that it provides a letter of fulfillment,” Barksdale said. “Because you're doing this art and while the school might not celebrate you, you know that your own community is behind you all the way.”

The nights program included not only fashion showcases, but also performances from the LBC Gospel Choir and an art showcase. Junior Taija West was one of the presenters and found it important for people to get recognition.

“It's definitely important just to let people know that their hard work does not go unnoticed, and so we definitely love to make sure administration, faculty, staff, students are getting recognized for everything that they are doing here on campus,” West said. “A lot of people are nominated by their peers, and it's nice to know that your peers are noticing what you're doing.”

The warm supportive energy could be felt as soon as one entered the lounge. The entire room was filled with an infectious sense of support and excitement. Junior Jada Craig praises the event for its spotlight on the importance of diversity.

“It allows people of all different shades and kinds to get together and have a good time and get to know one another. I just feel like this event is very, very important,” Craig said. “It's always been pretty much a good outcome for us, and it's something we’re gonna continue to do and pass onward when we’re gone.”

Edited by Sophie Stephens | sstephens@themaneater.com

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