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‘Impact the globe’: 1st Binghamton University grants awarded for social justice

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VESTAL (WBNG) -- Binghamton University announced Monday the first five recipients of the George Floyd Scholarship for Social Change.

The university's Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Karen Jones told 12 News the scholars were chosen based on
their commitment to enacting social change, racial equality and restorative justice.

Jones said the five winners this year showed their commitment to making a difference with not just their words, but their actions.

"How it is you're personally addressing social justice, volunteerism, not only on campus but off campus as well, and even more importantly, that this is something you've been doing for quite some time, that it's not just for the purpose of the scholarship," Jones said.

The five scholars were each awarded $5,000 a year for up to three years the school said. Jones said the board who chose the selections agreed this year's winners were exemplary candidates.

The scholarship was created by an anonymous $1.5M donation to the university.

Here is a list of all five winners, as well as what the school said it is recognizing them for:

--Claudian Francis ‘22, who designed her own major in social sciences as part of the Individualized Major Program. She developed The State of Black College America and Coronavirus, sponsored by the Multicultural Resource Center and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Binghamton, for national Black leaders to come together and discuss ways the coronavirus is affecting minority communities and provide equitable and feasible solutions for Black college students on how to move forward during these times.

--Micah Jumpp ‘21, MA ‘22, who is in the accelerated/4+1 degree program in geography. She has challenged her hometown school district to review its curriculum and books, teach complete and accurate histories of Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), and create equity spaces for BIPOC and LGBTQ+.

--Celine Lodge ‘21, a double major in nursing and psychology, who is a McNair Scholar conducting research to investigate the relationship between perceived discrimination in healthcare and practicing preventive health behaviors among African Americans with citizenship status differences. As a volunteer at a hospital where the majority of patients are minorities, she designed and administered a patient satisfaction survey relating to patients’ comfort level and quality of care. She used the data to facilitate improvement plans on the medical/surgical floor where she was stationed and helped ensure patients were being heard and receiving quality care no matter their racial background.

--Anita Oduro ‘22, who is majoring in psychology and has participated in several student organizations that provide local community service, including the step team X-Fact’r, which has performed regularly at a local middle school. She has also been a host/mentor for the Juvenile Urban Multicultural Program (JUMP), which guides and fosters underprivileged eighth-grade students of African American and Latinx descent to strive for higher education.

--Jelani Pusey ‘22, a major in economics, who is treasurer of the Caribbean Student Association at Binghamton, which is raising money for the Caribbean Equality Project, a nonprofit agency serving the Caribbean American LGBTQ+ community in New York City. He also volunteers virtually at a Bronx charter school for the arts, mentoring and educating low-income Black students in mathematics, and encouraging them to embrace their culture and learn about their history.

Josh Rosenblatt

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