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African American Studies
University of Mississippi

Professor Johnson Receives Lift Every Voice Award at UM Black History Month Kickoff


“Lift Every Voice” is traditionally known as the Negro national anthem, but the song title is also the name of an annual award presented at the University of Mississippi.

Kirk Johnson

Kirk Johnson

Four UM employees received the 2015 “Lift Every Voice” award Feb. 3 during UM’s Black History Month kickoff celebration in the Student Union. Honored were Kirk Johnson, associate professor of sociology and anthropology and African-American Studies, Joseph Ward, professor and chair of history; Brandi Hephner LaBanc, vice chancellor for student affairs; and Jennifer Stollman, academic director for the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation.

“The Black Faculty and Staff Organization of the University of Mississippi founded the ‘Lift Every Voice’ award to recognize an individual, group or entity that has contributed to the betterment of human relationships on our campus,” said Shawnboda Mead, director of the UM Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement. “Particular emphasis is given to the areas of diversity, multiculturalism and inclusion. Recipients of this award have worked beyond their normal employment boundaries and performed the ‘extra mile’ of service to their fellow man for the university.”

Previous recipients include Thomas Wallace, former vice chancellor for student affairs; Johnnie Williams, former vice chancellor for administration and finance; Leroy Wadlington, former pastor of Second Baptist Church in Oxford; Glenn Hopkins, dean emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts and professor emeritus of mathematics; Gloria Kellum, vice chancellor emeritus for university relations; Maurice Eftink, associate provost and professor of chemistry and biochemistry; Chancellor Emeritus Robert Khayat; Donald Cole, assistant to the chancellor for multicultural affairs and associate professor of mathematics; Warner Alford, alumni director emeritus and former athletics director; Kirsten Dellinger, professor and chair of sociology and anthropology; Jackie Certion, FASTrack academic adviser; Patrick Perry, director of the LuckyDay Program; Curtis Wilke, associate professor of journalism; Aileen Ajootian, professor of classics; Susan Glisson, director of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation; Jeff Jackson, associate professor of sociology; Charles Ross, associate professor of history and director of African-American Studies program; Susan Grayzel, professor of history and director of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies; Morris Stocks, provost and professor of accountancy; and former Chancellor Dan Jones.