For decades, Florida A&M University (FAMU) has been celebrated around the nation for its ability to produce minority degree holding professionals, academicians, public servants, service members and the like.
Recently, the university’s impact was recognized beyond U.S. borders, as it was honored with a “Black Oscar” at the 2013 Troféu Raça Negra (translated Black Race Awards) in São Paulo, Brazil.
The award was presented to the university in recognition of its continuous work in promoting diversity and inclusion through higher education. FAMU’s Interim President Dr. Larry Robinson and his wife, Sharon, were on site to receive the award.
In addition to FAMU, global dignitaries such as civil rights icon the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Alpha Condé, president of the Republic of Guinea and internationally acclaimed novelist Paulo Lins were recognized during the November ceremony.
Previous honorees include the Rev. Bernice King and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, (posthumously), international award-winning journalist Joyce Ribeiro and world-renowned singer/songwriter Milton Nascimento.
“This honor is a testament to the tireless efforts of FAMU’s administrators, faculty and staff, who have made it a priority to ensure that no matter which road our students traveled to get here, they leave the university with the knowledge, skills and values necessary to effect change around the globe,” Robinson said.
During his acceptance speech, Robinson noted the university's achievements in providing equal opportunities for scholars to pursue their dreams.
“There can be no freedom without education,” he said.
Dr. José Vicente, rector of Zumbi Palmares University and president of the Afro-Brazilian Society of Socio-Cultural Development (AFROBRAS), hosted the event, which also highlighted the importance of historically black colleges and universities on a global scale. Zumbi is the only institution of higher learning dedicated to the education of Afro-Brazilians.
According to AFROBRAS, the Troféu Raça Negra was established to recognize those who promote racial equality and to celebrate Brazil's National Black Consciousness Day.
The Troféu Raça Negra is an annual presentation of AFROBRAS and is considered its highest honor. The organization was founded in 1997 with the mission of uniting intellectuals, officials and personalities to work for the socio-economic, cultural and educational development of young black Brazilians.
To see highlights from the event visit: http://tinyurl.com/FAMUOscar
-30-Photo: Dr. Larry Robinson and wife, Sharon (left), walk the red carpet at Brazil's Troféu Raça Negra with the Rev. Jesse Jackson (center), AFROBRAS president Dr. José Vicente (far right) and special guests.