Keeper of the Dream preview

Keeper of the Dream Preview

By Alexus Bomar


In its 24th year, OU’s Keeper of the Dream Celebration continues to honor student leaders who display Dr. King’s vision here on campus.


According to the Center for Multicultural Initiatives website, The Keeper of the Dream Award (KOD) was established in January 1993 to recognize and honor OU students who have contributed to interracial understanding and good will. The KOD scholarship award celebration honors the late civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


This year’s keynote speaker, LeVar Burton, is mostly known as the host of the Emmy-winning PBS children’s series “Reading Rainbow,” along with his iconic role as Kunta Kinte in the television series “Roots.”


The event starts at 11:30 a.m. in the Banquet Rooms with the scholarship award presentations, and the keynote address at noon. After, there will be an African American Celebration Month (AACM) kickoff from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Pioneer Food Court.


AACM goes from Jan. 18 to Feb. 18. During the month, there will be a series of events highlighting the importance of diversity and raising awareness of African American contributions to society with the theme of “Preserving Our Heritage.”


Up to six scholarships are awarded to students who best show exceptional leadership qualities through campus and community involvement, as well as removing both racial and cultural stereotypes. On Monday, Jan. 18, five students will be recognized for their efforts.  


The five students being recognized are:


Carlie Austin, nursing

It feels sort of surreal. You know a lot of people only bring up Dr. King nowadays during the month of February, but to be recognized by CMI as someone who works to represent his vision daily is awesome, and something I, my family and my community are very proud of.


Myshia Liles-Moultrie, social work

It’s a huge honor to be recognized for my efforts to make Oakland a more inclusive community. At a predominately white institution it is often easy to over look the students of color and the problems that come along with their color. This award is a small way to remind the community of Dr.King’s vision and inspire others to make a change. Dr. King’s vision will always guide me in my future career and I will always promote diversity and inclusion.


Christina Root, social work

I feel so privileged to be recognized as a young college student who has a passion to keep Dr. King’s vision alive!


Betira Shahollari, finance

It is an extraordinary experience to be recognized for displaying Dr. King’s vision. I am very thankful to be able to show one of the things I am most passionate about and truly believe in, embracing and promoting diversity, through my involvement on campus. It is an amazing feeling to be recognized for the work and efforts put towards making a positive impact on the OU campus. Everyone around me has been very supportive and happy for me, and there is no better feeling than this.


Tasha Tinglan, social work

It is a tremendous honor to be recognized as a keeper of the dream. My mother raised me to treat and see everyone as equal. The color of our skin should not determine how we are treated. Dr. King had a dream that everyone would be treated equally and I will make sure that I always do my part in making that dream come true.


For more information about Keeper of the Dream and AACM 2016, visit the Center for Multicultural Initiatives website.