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Award Ceremony Honors Legacy of Beloved Historian Dr. Clement A. Price

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Award winners (clockwise): Albert Appouh, Robert Holmes, Marc Holzer, and members of the Queer Newark Oral History Project (left to right: Timothy Stewart-Winter, Mary Rizzo, Christina Strasburger, and Kristyn Scorsone).

The legacy of the late Dr. Clement Price shone brightly on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, with a first-time ceremony presenting the Clement A. Price Human Dignity Awards and the Leaders in Faculty Diversity Awards. The ceremony was held in the historic 15 Washington building at Rutgers University–Newark (RU-N).

Established by the Committee to Advance Our Common Purposes (CACP) – of which Price was a former chair – the awards paid tribute to Dr. Price by recognizing those who are working to advance diversity, inclusion, equity, and access at Rutgers University and broader communities.

Dr. Price, Rutgers Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor, died on Nov. 5, 2014. The longtime Newark, New Jersey, resident was a noted historian, teacher, philanthropist, public servant, government advisor, public intellectual, and patron of the arts and humanities.

“For us to dedicate an award that embodies human dignity represents the very essence of Dr. Clement Alexander Price,” said RU-N Chancellor Nancy Cantor.

As a historian, Price dedicated his life to remembering and sharing stories, and Cantor emphasized that the ceremony was one of many opportunities to celebrate and remember Price. Cantor recounted Price’s commitment to building relationships and “tearing down walls.”

“No one personified the meaning of ‘neighbor’ more than Clement Alexander Price, and in so doing, he really stood for human dignity for all times, for all peoples, and for all places,” Cantor said, reflecting on an understanding of that term advocated by the late Rabbi Joachim Prinz of Newark. A close ally and collaborator with the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Prinz spoke immediately preceding him at the watershed march on Washington, D.C. in August 1963, urging an understanding of ‘neighbor’ not as a geographic term, but as ‘a moral concept.’ 

Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi presented the awards, acknowledging the ways in which each recipient promoted Price’s ideals.

Ten individuals or groups received the Clement A. Price Dignity Award, with three of those recipients representing RU-N:

  • Albert Appouh: Newark College of Arts and Sciences (B.S. expected 2017)
  • Robert Holmes: clinical professor of law, Clarence Clyde Ferguson Jr. Scholar, deputy director of clinical programs, and founder and director of the Community and Transactional Lawyering Clinic, Rutgers Law School
  • Queer Newark Oral History Project (QNOHP)
    Beryl Satter, QNOHP co-founder and professor of history
    Darnell Moore, QNOHP co-founder and writer, scholar, and activist
    Timothy Stewart-Winter, assistant professor of history
    Whitney Strub, associate professor of history and director of women's and gender studies
    Mary Rizzo, assistant professor of professional practice and associate director of digital & public humanities initiatives, American studies and history
    Christina Strasburger, department administrator, history and African American and African studies
    Alison Lefkovitz, assistant professor of history and director of law, technology and culture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology
    Kristyn Scorsone, history graduate student (M.A. expected 2017)
    Naomi Extra, American studies doctoral candidate
    Anna Alves, American studies doctoral candidate
    Tyler Palmese, history graduate Student (M.A. expected 2017)

The Queer Newark Oral History Project, which won for its work in documenting, preserving, and highlighting the history of Newark’s LGBTQ residents, was first sponsored by Price when the project began in 2011.

“It’s incredibly gratifying to receive this award, partly because Clem helped us get this project off the ground and was such a strong supporter of our effort to add to the record of what the world knows about Newark,” said Stewart-Winter.

Holmes was deeply honored by his award and its comparisons to Price’s work and values. In his time at the university, Holmes has worked for the advancement of community engagement and revitalization in Newark through clinical practice and local partnerships.

Appouh declared that his award was “for all students” and issued a call to action for everyone to do their part in ending discrimination and prejudice within their communities. Appouh has advocated for racial minorities, LGBTQ students, and students with mental illnesses during his time at RU-N.

Five Leaders in Faculty Diversity Awards were given, with one RU-N recipient:

Dr. Marc Holzer: founding dean and Board of Governors Distinguished Professor, School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA)

Under Holzer’s leadership, SPAA has developed one of the most diverse doctoral programs in the country and contributed to greater diversity within the professoriate in public affairs on a national level.

“I’m very proud that we’ve been able to promote staff members who started off in clerical positions, and now have doctorates and are assistant or associate deans," Holzer said. "We’ve been able to give people a lot of responsibility and show that they can achieve on a very high level."

For the recipients, the awards served as both recognition and motivation to continue making positive impacts in the interests of diversity and inclusion, and keeping Price’s legacy alive.