St. John’s University to Salute Service Leaders at Inaugural MLK Agents of Change Awards Dinner

For Immediate Release: January 22, 2024
Media Contact: James Stephen Smith
Director of Media Relations, St. John’s University
516-313-4568, [email protected]

Gate with crest
January 22, 2024

(QUEENS, NY) - St. John’s University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs will host its inaugural Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Agents of Change Award and Legacy Dinner on Monday, January 29. The event celebrates the civil rights pioneer’s legacy, while recognizing members of the University community and beyond who have made an enduring social impact. 

The Office of Multicultural Affairs will recognize with Agent of Change Awards David Gachigo M.P.A., M.A., Associate Dean, Student Affairs and Interim Vice Provost, St. John’s Staten Island, NY campus; alumnus Duane Shippey ’97A, Vice President / Client Service Manager BNY Mellon; Jazmyne Easley '23CCPS, who is pursuing a Master of Professional Studies degree at St. John’s in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Leadership; and Maurelhena Walles, founder of the Manhattan, NY-based health and wellness advocacy firm Equity Design, Inc.

Consistent with Dr. King’s vision, the honorees were selected for their acts of kindness, support for their peers, and advocacy in support of social justice and inclusion. 

The dinner will take place in the University’s D’Angelo Center Ballroom from 5 to 8 p.m. and feature MC Remy Martin ’16P, ’18GEd, a doctoral candidate in The School of Education; motivational author, poet, and keynote speaker Tinesha Cherry; and performances by Voices of Victory, the official gospel choir of the University; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated; and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc

Service and social justice are at the heart of the St. John’s mission. Rooted in its Vincentian heritage, St. John’s seeks to provide outstanding education for all people, especially those lacking economic, physical, or social advantages.

“This event is a declaration that our institution, our community, is a place where dreams are nurtured,” said Sharon Tomlinson '22Ed.D., Assistant Vice President for Equity and Inclusion/Student Belonging.  “St. John's University is not just an educational institution, it is a place of hope and opportunity for students from all walks of life. We stand together to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

About St. John’s University:

St. John’s University is a private, coeducational, Roman Catholic University founded in 1870 by the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentians), with its main campus located in Queens, NY. St. John’s also has New York campuses on Staten Island (until June 2024) and in Manhattan; as well as a campus in Rome, Italy; and locations in Paris, France, and Limerick, Ireland.

St. John’s University is comprised of six Schools and Colleges, including the College of Pharmacy and Health SciencesThe Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional StudiesSt. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; The Peter J. Tobin College of Business (including the Maurice R. Greenberg School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science); The School of Education; and the School of Law.

As of Fall 2023, the University has more than 1,400 full-time and part-time faculty; almost 16,000 undergraduate students; and 3,992 graduate students from 44 states and 119 countries. St. John’s offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs, including 16 doctoral programs.