2024 Malcolm/King Award Winners
2024 Malcolm/King Award Winners Share Hopes for the Future

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and think critically. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” Our 2024 Malcolm/King Award winners have all demonstrated powerful critical thinking skills with their insightful submissions. They’re honoring the legacies of Malcolm X and Dr. King by moving the needle forward toward their vision for a more equitable future.

Joshua Hall

Joshua Hall ’26
Degree: B.S. in Human Services and Community Justice
Programs: ACE, Black Student Union, MBK Connect, Student Transition Programs, Urban Male Initiative
Career Aspiration: College Program Director 

What was your Malcolm/King Leadership Award submission about and how does it align with your future goals?
I submitted an essay titled “Connecting Legacies: Love and Strength in Community Leadership.” It was about how working as an Orientation Leader with John Jay’s Student Transition Programs and my involvement with the MBK Connect Summer Acceleration Program through the Urban Male Initiative ties into the messages and beliefs of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. More specifically, Dr. King’s work serves as a constant reminder of how transformative being of service to others can be. Through these programs, I was able to give back to our John Jay community by creating a sense of genuine inclusiveness and belonging for students, and serving as a bridge to the resources they need to succeed. The experience made me realize what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. In the future, I see myself working on a college campus as a program director, helping a new generation of students, especially men of color, transition smoothly into their college experience.

Judith Boza

Judith M. Boza ’25
Degree: B.A. in Law and Society
Programs: Interdisciplinary Studies Program Ambassador
Career Aspiration: Lawyer

Who in the African American community do you find inspiring?
I’m inspired by Gil Scott-Heron. He fearlessly addressed issues of racism, inequality, and social injustice, using his art as a tool for activism. His commitment to speaking truth to power and advocating for change resonates today, reminding us of the importance of using our voices to fight for a better world. In the future, I aspire to positively impact the African American community by leveraging my education, experiences, and platform to advocate for systemic change and social justice. Through my work as a lawyer, I’ll aim to address disparities and injustices that disproportionately affect African Americans, striving to reform policies and practices that perpetuate discrimination and inequality.

Jeba Raisa Tashin

Jeba Raisa Tashin ’24
Degree: B.A. in Forensic Psychology
Program: SEEK
Career Aspiration: Federal Judge

What does winning this award mean to you?
Winning the Malcolm/King Award has been a profound honor and validates the values—a commitment to social justice, education, and community service—that have shaped my career. I draw inspiration from the legacies of both Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Their tireless commitment to social justice and equality has been a guiding force in my personal and professional endeavors, such as my involvement in the Department of Education Immigrant Ambassador Program, my work at the Queens County Farm Museum, and my internship at The LGBT Community Center. My goals are to help communities dealing with structural injustices, support educational opportunities, and fight for fair legal representation. I hope to one day be a well-respected federal judge who furthers the causes of equality and justice. My multidisciplinary education and real-world experiences at John Jay have given me a strong foundation and the unique skills to successfully negotiate the legal system’s intricacies and contribute meaningfully to the fight for justice.