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'The Butler' Director Lee Daniels to Speak at Oakland University

Director is keynote speaker at OU's Keeper of the Dream Scholarship event on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo
Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo
Now in its 22nd year, Oakland University's Keeper of the Dream Scholarship continues to celebrate and recognize student leaders who promote diversity, cultural understanding and community activism on campus.

This year, the scholarship event, set for 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 20 in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms at Oakland University, will welcome acclaimed Lee Daniels, director of Lee Daniels' The Butler.

The event is open to the public and there is no cost to attend.

This year, five students are being recognized for their efforts to promote interracial acceptance and understanding: 

  • Raya Hollis - from Rochester, is a Health Sciences major
  • La'Asia Johnson – from Flint, is a pre-Social Work major
  • Daniel Lewis – from Flint, is a Health Sciences major
  • Paul Marvin - from Howell, is an Honors College member doubling majoring in Biological Sciences and Spanish Language and Literature
  • Yen Tran – originally from Vietnam, is a Biochemistry major
"The Keeper of the Dream awards are one way we honor Dr. King's legacy here at Oakland each year," said Omar Brown-El, director of the Center for Multicultural Initiatives. "It's also a celebration to honor some outstanding students who reflect Dr. King's vision on our campus."

Helping celebrate the 2014 event will be keynote speaker Lee Daniels. An American film actor, director and producer, Daniels is most recently known for directing the film "The Butler," a historical fiction drama with an all-star cast including Forest Whitaker and Robin Williams, portraying events at the White House involving several presidents of the late 20th century.

Established in January 1993, Keeper of the Dream provides annual scholarships up to $5,000 for students who have demonstrated strong citizenship, scholarship and leadership. Since its inception, more than 80 students from a wide variety of academic majors have been awarded scholarships.

The Keeper of the Dream scholarship awards are sponsored this year by Beaumont Health System, Keeper of the Dream Foundation, L&L McIntosh Scholarship, OU Credit Union and OU Alumni Association. This year's Unity Sponsors are the KeyBank Foundation and Avis Ford.

This celebration is also the unofficial kickoff for African American Celebration Month, which runs from Monday, Jan. 20, to Thursday, Feb. 20. This year's theme, "Civil Rights: Where are we now" commemorates the month with a series of events highlighting the importance of diversity and raising awareness of African American history and culture. Visit the AACM 2014 website for a complete listing of events and activities.

For more information about the Keeper of the Dream event, please call the Center for Multicultural Initiatives at (248) 370-4404 or visit oakland.edu/kod

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