Ujima Conference 2024 Honors Exceptional Leaders in the Campus Community

Student awardees

Makiya Savage (left) and Shavon Smith (right)

KUTZTOWN, Pa. – Kutztown University celebrated the remarkable contributions of six distinguished individuals during the Black History Month 2024 Ujima Conference Awards Feb. 20-22. These awards recognize those who have significantly impacted the campus community through their dedication to education, unity, leadership, freedom of expression, community service and legacy building.

Ujima Excellence Award: Dr. Brenda Muzeta, hailing from Lusaka, Zambia, and serving as an assistant professor of secondary education, was honored with the Ujima Excellence Award. Muzeta, also a community mentor and African Student Association advisor, has been a steadfast supporter of the Ujima Conference and a beacon of cultural richness and educational elevation within the KU community.

Campus Unifier Award: Bilal Salaam received the Campus Unifier Award for his pivotal role as a colleague, mentor, friend and coach. Through his leadership in Achievement Initiative for Male Success (AIMS) and the creation of I.D.E.A., Salaam has fostered an inclusive and supportive environment, promoting diversity, equity and inclusion across the athletics community and beyond.

Emerging Leader Award: Makiya Savage, a dynamic leader and advocate for students of color, was awarded the Emerging Leader Award. As the current president of BSU and an active member of several campus organizations, Savage has demonstrated exceptional leadership while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in sport management. Her unwavering dedication sets a powerful example for her peers.

Voice of Freedom Award: Tariq Jordan was recognized with the Voice of Freedom Award for his advocacy and creative expression through music. Jordan, a student at Kutztown University, uses his musical talent to voice the concerns and rights of his peers, embodying the spirit of freedom and community solidarity.

Community Service Award: Shavon Smith, known for his authenticity and service, received the Community Service Award. A student from Kingston, Jamaica, Smith has contributed significantly to the KU community through his volunteer work as a videographer, showcasing his commitment to positive change and community support.

Ujima Legacy Award: Bernard McCree was honored with the Ujima Legacy Award for his longstanding dedication to student success and community support. As a senior member of the Executive Management Student Affairs Team and director of Financial Aid, McCree's mentorship and leadership have been instrumental in fostering an environment of growth and opportunity.

The Ujima Conference 2024 celebrates these individuals for their exceptional contributions and enduring commitment to the values of unity, leadership and community service. Kutztown University is proud to recognize their achievements and looks forward to their continued impact on the campus and beyond.