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Research awardees continue Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy 

By Sloane Barlow 

Congratulations to the 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Advancing Inclusion through Research awardees: Taylor Toth, Adrianna Roth, Stephanie Adams, and Jordan Roebuck. 

The MLK Jr. Advancing Inclusion through Research Award is an opportunity for any student of the Honors College, James Madison College, Lyman Briggs College, or the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities to submit work on the topics of inclusion, diversity, marginalized populations, and human/civil rights.

Awardees were selected by a committee of faculty, staff, and students from the sponsoring colleges.

Photo Credit: Dane Robison and TimeFrame Photography

I’m incredibly honored to receive this award,” Honors College student and first-prize winner Taylor Toth said. “Environmental racism is a pressing issue because it disproportionately impacts marginalized communities.” 

In her research paper, Toth argued that communities of color are more susceptible to asthma and cancer, after researching redlining and air pollution data in Detroit. This research was initially conducted by Toth for her course MC202: Climate Change, Resource Scarcity and Prosperity, with Professor Norman Graham 

Addressing environmental racism is crucial for achieving environmental justice and ensuring equitable access to clean air, water, and land for all individuals, regardless of their race or socioeconomic status,” Toth said.  

The award winners shared their research at an intimate reception at the Kellogg Center, and were then recognized at the University Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Awards.

Event photos are available here.

2024 MLK Jr. Advancing Inclusion through Research Awardees

1st place: Taylor Toth, $600 

Environmental Racism and Toxic Air: Exploring the Disproportionate Impact of Air Pollution on Detroit’s Communities of Color 

  • Honors College and James Madison College student 
  • Social Relations and Policy/Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy Major 
  • History Minor 

2nd place: Adrianna Roth, $500 

Farm-to-Policy: How Contemporary Immigration Policy Shapes the Landscape 

  • James Madison College student
  • Social Relations and Policy Major 
  • Spanish/Women and Gender Studies Minor 

3rd Place: Stephanie Adams, $300 

Migration Mosaic: Exploring Views on Immigration in Diverse American Communities 

  • James Madison College student
  • Social Relations and Policy Major 
  • Leadership Organizations Minor 

Honorable Mention: Jordan Roebuck, $200 

Resilience in Education: The Lived Experiences of Black Students in James Madison College 

  • James Madison College student
  • Social Relations and Policy Major 
  • African American and African Studies Minor 
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