Celebrating the Accomplishments of Our 2023 Malcolm/King Award Winners

Celebrating the Accomplishments of Our 2023 Malcolm/King Award Winners

Celebrating the Accomplishments of Our 2023 Malcolm/King Award Winners

Civil Rights icon Malcolm X once said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” This year’s Malcolm/King Award winners embody that spirit in their commitment to academic excellence and a bright future for the African American community. As part of our Black History Month celebration, we’re proud to share these talented students’ perspectives, award-winning projects, and career aspirations.

Kayla DudleyKayla Dudley ’24
Major: Political Science with a minor in Africana Studies
Hometown: Staten Island, New York
Career Aspiration: I’d like to become a civil rights attorney. I see myself working in a Black-owned law firm, helping to positively change the legal system, and publishing my poetry books.

Malcolm/King Award-Winning Submission: Winning this award means a lot to me. I love writing poetry and advocating for social justice. Being recognized for putting these two passions together let me know that I was doing something right. When I was writing the poem, I was walking around my house with Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” playing in the background. All of these phrases started to pop up in my head. I wanted to compare Dr. King’s “I Had a Dream” speech to my dreams in 2023. I needed to illustrate how important it was to keep fighting for equality—despite all the disturbing things that happened to him and the Black community. I wanted to show that even 60 years later, we’ve grown but still have issues to address. We’re still going through racial injustices that need to be addressed.

Read Kayla’s poem here.


Daven Asafo-AgyeiDaven Asafo-Agyei ’25
Major: Security Management
Hometown: New York, New York
Career Aspiration: I hope to become a sustainability professional, educator, and business owner. I would also like to get into urban landscape or architectural design.

Malcolm/King Award-Winning Submission: Two years ago, I wrote an essay that was influenced by both Malcolm X and Dr. King. I was tired of how the world was going on, as if the Earth was not on fire. When I found out about the Malcolm/King Leadership Award, I decided to use a combination of stock photos and videos to create my own video show with parts of my essay as a voiceover. The medium provided me with the perfect platform to reach people and make my plea for humanity and the Earth’s survival. I want to raise awareness regarding the climate emergency. Eventually, I’d like to host a walk to Washington in hopes of a federal recycling mandate and suggest a truce among all nations.

Watch Daven’s video here.


Nicole MillerNicole Miller ’24
Major: Humanities and Justice
Hometown: New York, New York
Career Aspiration: I’d like to work with a nonprofit organization that helps underserved communities find the resources they need to thrive. I see myself advocating for diversity and equal opportunities for everyone.

Malcolm/King Award-Winning Submission: Listening to Amanda Gorman’s poem during the President’s inauguration was incredibly moving for me—especially considering how she created a nonprofit organization that provides creative writing programs for underprivileged youth. My poem for the Malcolm/King Award—which I was honored to receive—was inspired by my experience in the Vera Program. Vera showed me the power of my voice—a power that both Malcolm X and MLK positively used to uplift the African American community and spread the message of equality.

Read Nicole’s poem here.