Ohio Wesleyan’s Emeka Aniagolu, Ohio Wesleyan assistant professor of Black World Studies, is one of five Ohio individuals and organizations recognized on January 17 for efforts to advance social change, by Ohio Governor John R. Kasich and Lt. Governor Mary Taylor, at the 28th annual Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Celebration held at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Columbus. The event was sponsored by the Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission.
Aniagolu, who has taught at OWU for more than 27 years, received the Education Excellence Award for recognizing the personal commitment and example that King provided for academic achievement. “Therefore, the recipient has demonstrated a personal commitment to scholarship and/or attainment of educational goals despite significant barriers or obstacles. The recipient also has demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in eradicating systemic barriers that impede the attainment of academic excellence.” Aniagolu has written a dozen books and has taught his students about the history of Africans and people of African descent. Through his work with the Upward Bound Program, Aniagolu mentored and taught college-bound African-American students, and helped them as they applied for college.
Others who were recognized include: Judge Nathaniel R. Jones, an internationally-renowned civil rights activist , (Cincinnati), the Governor’s Humanitarian Award; Wuyanbu Zutali, a community activist/organizer, mentor, chess teacher, (Canton), the Community Building Award; Center of Science and Industry, host of the traveling exhibition, “Race: Are We So Different?,” (Columbus), the Cultural Awareness Award; and the Rev. Dr. Jefferey P. Kee, pastor of New Faith Baptist Church of Christ in Columbus’ Olde Town East neighborhood, and co-president of Building Responsibility, Equality, and Dignity (BREAD) in Columbus.
“How very fitting that the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission recognize Emeka’s excellence as an educator,” says OWU Professor Barbara Andereck, interim Dean of Academic Affairs. “Ohio Wesleyan has recognized for over 27 years, the dedication that he brings to his students and the significant contribution he makes to our Black World Studies program.”