Pacer Who Championed Human, Civil Rights Earns Award
Aiken, SC (01/28/2019) — A University of South Carolina Aiken graduate received a 2019 Human & Civil Rights Champion Award, which was presented during the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Celebration, in the USC Aiken Convocation Center.
Hannah Jameson, a secondary education major, was nominated for the honor.
"Everything she does in for service to others," said Lindsey Calhoun, a fellow education major who became friends with Jameson during their sophomore year.
"If she sees a homeless person, she will take them to the grocery story. She is so giving."
Jameson, a Pacer Pathway tutor, hosted students from India for the university's relatively new Leadership Exchange program. In addition, her undergraduate research has focused on recognizing African-American culture within the education community. Throughout her collegiate career, she has presented her research at several professional and educational conferences, which suggests embracing the unique culture and vernacular and incorporating it into classroom activities and instruction.
During a teacher's conference in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Jameson not only presented her research but also held a discussion for attendees that exposed prejudice and racism in the school system and urged her future colleagues to promote inclusion. Through her activities, and as an intern at South Aiken High School, she has encouraged inclusiveness and addressing prejudice to all she encounters.
"She stresses the importance of not discriminating based on a student's background, baseline knowledge or where they come from," Calhoun said.
"[When teaching,] Hannah teaches her students about stereotypes, prejudices and other misconceptions of different cultures and works to reverse those thought processes, [turning them into] ones of inclusiveness."
When introducing Jameson as the recipient of the USC Aiken Human & Civil Rights Student Champion Award, Dr. Forest Mahan, president of Aiken Technical College, thanked her "advocating for diversity and inclusion."
He said a champion is "one that does battle for another's rights or honor." As a human rights champion in her community, Mahan said Jameson lives by "Dr. King's principle of service and [is a true representation] of [the theme of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Celebration]: 'the time is always right to do what is right.'"
Each year, the Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration Planning Committee awards three human and civil rights champion awards. One goes to a USC Aiken student, one to an Aiken Tech student, and one to a member of the community.
Nominees must help protect and advance the human and civil rights of students on campus; be an active member of a service organization on campus; work to build inclusive and diverse partnerships with students and faculty on campus; and participate in a campus project or assignment that identifies and encourages the values of diversity, inclusion and belonging.
Jameson not only champions rights for those in her own community, but she also travels to Jamaica summer for extended outreach programs. Her Pacer soul sister believes the Orangeburg, S.C., native is making a difference wherever she goes.
"Anyone who has come in contact with Hannah knows her kind and tender spirit and drive to create a loving environment for every person she comes in contact with," Calhoun said.