Moise St. Louis honored at Burlington MLK event for racial justice work in schools and community

By: Mark Tarnacki

Moise St. Louis, associate dean of students and director of Multicultural Student Services at Saint Michael’s College, enjoyed special recognition at a Burlington city-wide Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 19, for his ongoing support of community initiatives and partnering with Burlington non-profits and schools to further the cause of racial justice.

Patrick Brown, organizer of the Burlington MLK event since 1994, said each year, he and the other event organizers "thank people in our community who help with Social Justice Initiatives."

"As a community partner, I have worked closely with Mo on Community Initiatives, too numerous to mention, including diversity in the public schools and other community-based diversity initiatives," Brown said, noting that one of St. Louis' predecessors at Saint Michael's, Dorothy Williams, former director of Multicultural Affairs, was a recipient of similar recognition in 1998.

Traci Griffith, JD,  Saint Michael's associate professor/department chair of Media Studies and Digital Arts, presented the award to St. Louis during the mid-afternoon ceremony at the downtown Unitarian/Universalist Church, which featured an appearance and talk by Sharon Robinson, daughter of Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson. Also attending were Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, who spoke to honor the legacy of Nelson Mandela, and a representative from the office of Sen. Patrick Leahy '61. Three other local activists for racial justice - Denise Dunbar, Sara Osaba and Stephanie Seguino -- also received recognition preceding the presentation to St. Louis.

"I'm proud to present this award to a brother in the struggle for equality, Moise St. Louis," Griffith said during presentation of an honorary plaque to St. Louis at Sunday's ceremony.

"Moise is a man who walks the walk, talks the talk and continues to fight the fight in keeping with the ideals of MLK Jr., Nelson Mandela and Jackie Robinson," Griffith said. "I'm privileged to work with Moise at Saint Michael's College as he fights to provide equal opportunities for our multicultural students and educational opportunities for all. Moise is an advocate on behalf of all students. He recognizes that as students of all cultures interact, barriers are broken down and mutual understanding is created."

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