Faculty, alumni, staff and student winners to be recognized during 2021 MLK commemoration

Every year, the University of Chicago honors members of the UChicago community who demonstrate leadership and a sustained commitment to justice and equality. In addition to faculty, alumni and staff, this year’s Diversity Leadership Awards also recognize the contributions of UChicago students.

This year’s recipients are Prof. Anita Blanchard, MD’90; Rami Nashashibi, AM’98, PhD’11; Jessica Jaggers of Chicago Booth; and UChicago students Nova Smith and Demetrius Johnson Jr. They will be honored Jan. 12 during a virtual celebration of UChicago’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration.

The winners are selected by the Diversity Leadership Council, along with the University of Chicago Alumni Board.

Portrait of Demetrius Johnson Jr. Demetrius Johnson Jr. is a third-year economics major in the College committed to improving the experience of Black undergraduate students on campus. He is president of the Theta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, which he revived at the University.

He is also a member of the University’s Chicago Maroon varsity football team and a two-time Midwest Conference All-Academic selection. After the social unrest that occurred in many parts of the country in 2020, Johnson founded the Black Letterwinning Athletes Coalition (BLAC) at UChicago, an organization designed to amplify and cater to the needs of Black student athletes at predominately white campuses­­­­­­­­­. Several other BLAC chapters have now launched at campuses across the country.

An Odyssey Scholar, Johnson also tutors Chicago high school students on financial literacy through Moneythink Mentors, a program focused on the real-world financial decisions young people face. Johnson is part of the selective Financial Markets Program of the Trott Business Program; a member of UChicago Private Equity; and an analyst in BLK Capital Management, a 100% Black-owned, student-run, long/short equity hedge fund based at Harvard University. He will be an investment banking summer analyst at Morgan Stanley this summer.

To view a complete list of award recipients, visit the full news story at news.uchicago.edu.

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