Every now and then, you might come across an Ann Chester or a Horace Belmear.

Chester began a program that every year gives hundreds of middle school and high school students across West Virginia a chance at college and aims to spark their interest in health sciences.

Belmear, a former assistant dean of admissions and records at WVU, became the standard bearer for increasing diversity on WVU’s campus.

They both took their own passions and, whether knowingly or not, furthered the cause of social justice that is synonymous with Martin Luther King Jr.

For their life’s work, Chester and Belmear were honored with the WVU Center for Black Culture & Research Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award, a distinction awarded every year to an individual who makes an important contribution to humanity.

Chester was recognized in 2004, and Belmear was recognized in 2009.

In 2010, Ken Hechler_ a former Congressman, presidential speechwriter and environmental activist_ was honored with the award.

“Each year the CBC&R has the distinct privilege of recognizing an individual whose contributions to our society exemplify the life of Dr. King,” said Marjorie Fuller, director of the Center for Black Culture & Research. “This year we will continue this tradition as another MLK Achievement Award winner is honored.”

Nominations are being accepted from now until Nov. 26 for the 2011 award. The award seeks to honor West Virginia residents who have made a substantial contribution toward advancing causes important to humanity, such as civil rights, human rights, humanitarianism, social action and advocacy, and equality.

The nomination form, a two-page statement showing the nominee’s achievements in supporting King’s goals and any optional supporting documentation should be sent to the WVU Center for Black Culture & Research, 590 Spruce Street, P.O. Box 6417, Morgantown, WV, 26506.

The award will be presented at the annual Unity Breakfast, to be held in the Mountainlair Ballrooms on Jan. 17, 2011, from 8-10 a.m.

The nomination form can be found online at http://cbc.wvu.edu/mlk_programs.

For more information, contact the Center for Black Culture & Research at 304-293-7029.



CONTACT: Todd McFadden, WVU Center for Black Culture & Research

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