Annie L. Dawson Foundation to Receive Dr. Daniel Mahony Award for Social Responsibility; E-Inside; September 20, 2018

Diversity and Scholarship Celebration will honor the foundation and eight individuals at Oct. 6 event

Brothers Wayne and William Dawson established the Annie L. Dawson Foundation in 2007, inspired by their mother’s passion for education and setting goals for success. This year, Kent State University has named the Greater Cleveland area-based foundation the recipient of its 2018 Dr. Daniel Mahony Award for Social Responsibility. University College and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion give the award annually to an individual or organization that has achieved eminence for distinctive service relating to and/or enhancing diversity in a humanitarian nature, positively impacting the Kent State community.

“The Dawson Foundation was selected for their unwavering commitment and dedication to justice, education and achievement,” says Melanie Jones, co-chair of the Diversity and Scholarship Celebration committee and director of Academic Diversity Outreach in Kent State’s University College. “The foundation was chosen from a very competitive group of nominees, and its work within the community and providing scholarships to youth stood out.”.

The Annie L. Dawson Foundation hosts many annual events, such as the Annie L. Dawson Scholars Award, Coats for Kids and Wayne Dawson’s Celebrity Bowl-A-Thon. 

The award is a part of the annual Diversity and Scholarship Celebration, formerly known as Harambee, to be held on Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center in Kent. The Diversity and Scholarship Celebration recognizes students, faculty, alumni and community supporters who provide outreach support and programs focused on increasing the success of underrepresented and/or underserved students at Kent State.

“This event is a way to celebrate the broad depth of diversity, recognizing our own who strive to create a climate of change in our community in transforming ways,” says Shana Lee, co-chair of Diversity and Scholarship Celebration committee and director of diversity and inclusion leadership in Kent State’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

The other honorees at the 2018 Diversity and Scholarship Celebration are:

Outstanding Creative Contribution Award:
Gregory King
Assistant Professor, School of Theatre and Dance, College of the Arts

Advancing Diversity Scholarship Award:
Janice Byrd, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor, Counselor Education and Supervision, School of Lifespan Development and Educational Sciences, College of Education, Health and Human Services

Christa Porter. Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Higher Education Administration, School of Foundations, Leadership and Administration, College of Education, Health and Human Services

Graduate Student Inclusive Influence Award:
Elizabeth Jean
Ph.D. Student, Psychology

Undergraduate Student Inclusive Influence Award:
Manny Jackson
Senior, Communication Studies Major

Alumni Legacy Award:
Sharlene Chesnes

Co-Founder and President/CEO, InterChez

Community Impact Award:
Billy Soule

Former Director, Akron Peacemakers, City of Akron

Betsy Justice, Ph.D.
Executive Director, LoveLight Inc.

The celebration will begin with a reception at 7:30 p.m. The reception will be followed by the awards presentation at 8 p.m. WJW Fox 8 morning anchor and Kent State alumnus Wayne Dawson will host this year’s Diversity and Scholarship Celebration.

Tickets are $50 and are available for purchased online at more information, please contact N. J. Akbar, co-chair of the event and assistant dean in Kent State’s University College at

POSTED: Thursday, September 20, 2018 12:00 AM
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2018 09:17 AM