NAACP Black History Month meeting

By Sara Hollingsworth
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A former CSUMB student of Dr. Gerald Shenk’s introduces the professor before he receives the Civil Rights Advocate and Ally Award.

Last Thursday, the Monterey Bay chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) hosted their 7th annual Black History Month meeting at the Alumni and Visitor’s Center.

The special meeting hosted President Eduardo M. Ochoa as a keynote speaker and awards were handed out to both students from California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and also community members of the Monterey Bay region.

NAACP Black History Month meeting
President Eduardo Ochoa speaks at the NAACP meeting.

President Ochoa gave a short speech at the meeting about the future of multiculturalism on campus and pledged to continue to partner with the NAACP in the future to foster a campus that is open and diverse. He also answered a few quick questions at the end of the speech. While most of the questions were specific to the individuals asking, one of the questions asked by a community member was about the fate of service learning on campus. President Ochoa confirmed that while service learning as a graduation requirement may not continue, service learning as a whole will always be a big part of CSUMB and will continue to exist.

NAACP Black History Month meeting
CSUMB student Breahna Watkins receives the Juanita Jackson Student Civil Rights Leader Award.

The second half of the meeting was devoted to handing out awards to both community members and CSUMB students and faculty. Five people received awards during the event. Mr. Atkin Miller and Mrs. Ruthie Watts were two of the community members to receive the African American and Civil Rights Champion Award. Mr. Marquise Crear and Ms. Breahna Watkins received the Juanita Jackson Student Civil Rights Leader Award. And faculty member, Dr. Gerald Shenk received the Civil Rights Advocate and Ally Award.

NAACP Black History Month meeting
A former CSUMB student Marquise Crear, receives the Juanita Jackson Student Civil Rights Leader Award.

Of the two students who received awards that evening, Crear was a former president of the NAACP at CSUMB and during his term hosted and co-hosted a total of 12 events, one of which was a production of the play, A Race Through Time. Crear has since graduated from CSUMB and now works for CSUMB GEAR UP as a College and Career Advisor. Watkins served the NAACP here at CSUMB for three years, first as the education chair and then in her third year as President for the fall 2017 semester.

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