University News

AAS Announces New Social Justice Award

April 6, 2011

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University's Department of African American Studies has announced the creation of a new Social Justice Award.

Initiated by Robert Hironimus-Wendt, associate professor of sociology, and Alphonso Simpson, Jr., interim chair and associate professor of African American studies, the Social Justice Award includes a $250 check to the selected individual. The award is open to all students in all majors, and it will be presented for the first time in Fall 2011 to a senior who is in good academic standing.

"This award is intended to recognize one of our many students who truly represent this thesis of social justice through actions they have taken to make our shared community a more just and humane place for those less advantaged among us," said Hironimus-Wendt and Simpson. "By spreading social justice throughout our shared community, these students are making Western Illinois University and the surrounding communities a more just and humane place for others and ourselves. Social justice involves those acts that seek to make for others a life worth living – not simply just a livable life."

Students who wish to be considered for the Social Justice Award must submit a 750-1,000 word essay explaining how the theme of social justice has informed their lives and how concerns for social justice have shaped their actions both on and off campus during their college years. In addition, each student must provide a WIU faculty member's confidential letter of recommendation, supporting his or her application for this award.

The application deadline is Friday, April 29. For more information or to get an application, contact the African American studies department, Morgan Hall 232, (309) 298-1181, or visit

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