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Keeper of the Dream

SAVE THE DATE: Monday, January 19, 2015
11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Oakland Center Banquet Rooms


The Keeper of the Dream Award was established in January 1993 to recognize Oakland University students who have contributed to interracial understanding and good will.
  • Applicants must demonstrate academic achievement (a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 at time of application)
  • Have a clear career focus and academic persistence
  • Be returning to Oakland in the fall and winter semester of the following academic year
The Keeper of the Dream Scholarship Awards Celebration honors the legacy of the late civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and awards up to six scholarships to students that best demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities through their involvement on campus and in the community by breaking down racial and cultural stereotypes and by promoting unity among all people to foster a campus environment rich in diversity and multiculturalism.

It is also an opportunity to publicly recognize students who exemplify Dr. King’s vision, and to award them annual scholarships for their efforts in promoting interracial tolerance and understanding.

A steady increase in corporate contributions has made it possible to increase the initial level of awards from two $1,000 scholarships in 1993 to several $5,000 scholarships. Since its inception, over eighty students from a wide variety of academic majors have been awarded scholarships.

For more information about the award requirements, please contact the Center for Multicultural Initiatives.

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Jurnee Smollett-Bell is an award-winning actress and activist of rare talent and conviction.  She was most recently seen on NBC’s critically acclaimed series, “Parenthood,” for it’s 5th season and is currently co-starring in HBO’s “True Blood”.  Jurnee also starred in Tyler Perry’s 2013 film “Temptation.”  The film was Perry’s biggest grossing box-office hit outside of his “Madea” brand.

Jurnee was also seen in the last two seasons of NBC’s Emmy Award Winning series, “Friday Night Lights” alongside Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler.  Shortly thereafter, she starred opposite Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell in CBS’, “The Defenders.”

Jurnee starred in “The Great Debaters” with Forest Whitaker and Denzel Washington, who also directed the drama.  In addition to receiving rave reviews, the film was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Picture and Jurnee won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture. She made her breakthrough performance at the age of 11, starring in “Eve's Bayou” opposite Samuel L. Jackson for which she won the Broadcast Film Critics Award for Best Youth Performance and was cited by Interview Magazine as one of the five Hollywood stars to watch in the new millennium.  Other film credits include starring in "Roll Bounce," "Gridiron Gang," and "Beautiful Joe" with Sharon Stone.  Her past television appearances include roles on "House," "E.R.," "Strong Medicine," "NYPD Blue," and Jurnee closed out the 2009 series of “Grey’s Anatomy” with a performance that received critical acclaim everywhere.

Jurnee began her television acting career at the age of four with a recurring role on "Full House," later reviving the character for a season of "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper." She followed by starring on the 1994-1995 ABC comedy "On Our Own" with her real life sister and four brothers.

In addition to acting and singing, Jurnee is an activist and the youngest board member of Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA), a nonprofit organization working in the U.S and South Africa to combat HIV/AIDS, advance human rights, and educate and empower children orphaned by AIDS as well as other at-risk youth.  Jurnee has been involved with ANSA since the age of 11 and in 2006, became ANSA's pioneer presenter for Positively Speaking, a program of the Los Angeles Unified District HIV/AIDS Prevention Unit that brings people infected or affected by the disease into middle and high school classes to tell their own stories and lead discussions.  She has traveled to South Africa through her efforts with ANSA, and met with Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Tutu, and Zackie Achmat as well as people living with HIV/AIDS and children orphaned by the disease.

In 2010, Jurnee completed an official U.S. mission for the U.S. State Department in which she was sent to Botswana, Swaziland and South Africa to conduct workshops with women and youth about activism, empowerment and HIV/AIDS. She also recently joined the board of the Children’s Defense Fund at the invitation of longtime mentor, Marian Wright Edelman.

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Lee Daniels - Director

Award Winners:
Raya Hollis
Paul Marvin
Yen Tran
Daniel Lewis
La'Asia Johnson

Daymond John - Shark Tank star and entrepreneur (pictured above)

Award Winners:
Steven Wynne
Charlie Lapastora
Bria Ellis

Presenter: Common

Award Winners:
Ben Eveslage
Subha Hanif
Tara Michener

Presenter: Lou Gossett Jr.

Award Winners:
Emily Tissot
Gerald Son
Rodrina Moore
Aiana Scott

Susan L. Taylor

Award Winners:
Chelsea Grimmer
Juquatta Brewer
Melissa DeGrandis

Danny Glover

Award Winners:
Norris Chase
Lisa Daily
Jasmine Rudolph
Relando Thompkins

Harry Belafonte

Award Winners:
Latonia Garrett
Ronée Harvey
Denise Jones
Avery Neale
Yakela Roberson
Jinae Stoudemire

Ruby Dee

Award Winners:
Sean Buono
Kwame Everett
Matthew Kelly
Aaron Kochenderfer
Brandon Svenson
Tiffanye Teagarden

Former Ambassador Andrew Young

Award Winners:
Nerissa Brown
Margaret DeGrandis
Kirbionne Fletcher
Michael Lerchenfeldt

Coretta Scott King

Award Winners:
Sheila L. Brooks
Andrew W. Gaines
Kathryn M. Miller
Jameelah M. Muhammad
Ashley K. Seal

Daniel G. Mulhern
First Gentleman of Michigan

Award Winners:
Lenny Compton
George Davis III
Joi Durant
James Ellout
Sophia Soldana

Edsel B. Ford
Ford Motor Company

Award Winners:
Crystal D. Allen
Steven D. Townsend
Crystal A. Wilkerson
Sumeera Younis

Martin Luther King III
President, Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Award Winners:
Ashli C. Bobo
Rhonda R. Hanna
Joi C. Olden
Diana L. Pochmara

Special Recognition:
Erin Liebner

Harold Kutner
Vice-President, Worldwide Purchasing & North American Operations, General Motors Corporation

Award Winners:
Angel D. Guy
David Mackinder
Brian S. Jaye
Kimberly Lavan
Ann R. Lefkowitz

Robert N. Cooper
President, Ameritech Michigan

Award Winners:
Annie O. Chung
Bonefacio F. De La Rosa
LaShanda P. Evans
Kristin J. Kouba
Razzaaq S. McConner
Aniesha K. Mitchell
Tamarcus D. Southward
Mychal C. Thom
Naeam Wilkerson
Ralph E. Williams, II

Dave Bing
Chairman, The Bing Group

Award Winners:
Jerry W. Autry, II
Adrienne D. Carter
Ronald L. Howell, Jr.
Shawn R. McLernon
Shaunda N. Scruggs
Natasha P. Vanover

Robert Eaton
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Chrysler Corporation

Award Winners:
Doron M. Elliott
Dedra L. McGlory
Alysia Roberson

William C. Brooks
Vice President, Corporate Affairs, General Motors Corporation

Award Winners:
Delano Davis
Jermaine Evans
Lisa Gregg

Father William T. Cunningham, Executive Director, FOCUS: Hope

Award Winners:
Carla Sabbagh
Tierra Stamps

Denise Langford Morris
Judge, Oakland County Circuit Court

Award Winner:
Bridget Green


Conrad Mallett, Jr.
Associate Justice, Michigan Supreme Court

Award Winners:
Natascha Nunn
Gregory Sharp, Jr.

Dennis Archer, then mayoral candidate, City of Detroit

Award Winners:
Alicia Cunningham-Sampson
Lisa McRipley

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