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Ohio University Southern honored with Carol Jackson Award at Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Ohio University Southern proudly accepted the esteemed Carol Jackson Award at the 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration held in Ashland, Kentucky.

The award commemorates the legacy of the late Carol Jackson, a prominent figure who dedicated over two decades to chairing the Ashland Human Rights Campaign.

The event, hosted by the Boyd and Greenup County NAACP, served as a poignant tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s enduring legacy and the tireless pursuit of equality and justice.

Ohio University Southern received the Carol Jackson Award in recognition for its dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion and providing opportunities for the tri-state community to come together to explore and uplift diverse identities, cultures and perspectives.  OHIO officials were honored to receive the award named after such an inspirational leader.

"Carol Jackson was an extraordinary individual, a beacon of inspiration, and a true trailblazer in her community," said Robert Pleasant, director of student services at Ohio University Southern. He recalled her remarkable contributions, highlighting her role as the first African American woman elected to the Ashland Independent Board of Education and her subsequent tenure as its chairperson.

Beyond her official capacities, Jackson's advocacy extended to various spheres, including her leadership within the Boyd-Greenup County NAACP and the Ashland Human Rights Commission. Pleasant emphasized Jackson's commitment to inclusivity, citing her efforts in establishing safe spaces for marginalized groups, such as the Gay-Straight Student Alliance at Boyd County High School.

"Her enduring legacy is a testament to her unwavering dedication to equality, justice, and the betterment of her community," Pleasant said. "And to receive this award named in her honor is a testament to the work that Ohio University Southern is doing around the tri-state region. Her legacy lives on."

The Carol Jackson Award serves as a reminder of the importance of continued advocacy for social justice and equality, values deeply ingrained within the fabric of Ohio University Southern.

As the Southern campus continues to foster an environment of inclusivity and empowerment, it remains steadfast in its commitment to honoring the legacies of trailblazers like Jackson and advancing Dr. King's dream of a more just and equitable society.

February 8, 2024
Staff reports