As part of its MLK Week observance, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln will present 2022 Fulfilling the Dream awards to Batool Ibrahim and Judi gaiashkibos.
Presented during the university’s annual MLK Week observance, the annual awards honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The honors are reserved for individuals who have contributed to the university or Lincoln communities through their action in promoting the goals and vision of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The awards will be presented during the university’s MLK Commemorative Celebration, 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 19. Learn more about the celebration and other MLK Week activities.
Ibrahim is a senior global studies and political science major, and president of the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska.
She is an active member of the university’s Student Support Services TRIO Scholars program, a federal-funded initiative focused on the retention and graduation of underrepresented students. Ibrahim has also served as a leader through involvement in ASUN and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Key contributions include serving those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and helping increase awareness about sexual assaults on college campuses nationwide.
In nomination forms, Joyce Lehn, assistant director of student support services with TRIO Programs, credited Ibrahim for her leadership and work on challenging issues that impact the campus community and nation.
“(Batool) is an individual who has the compassion, empathy, courage and determination to advocate for (her community, university, peers, friends and family) and to create changes that will better the lives of others,” Lehn wrote. “She is a light to create change in the world and, during the process, she serves as a mentor, role model and leader for others so they can see each other, ourselves and what’s possible.”
Learn more about what motivates Ibrahim in a Nebraska Today Q&A.
A national leader on Native American issues, gaiashkibos is director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs and an enrolled member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska.
During the last 15 years, she has worked to elevate and honor the legacies of Chief Standing Bear and Dr. Susan La Fleschete Picotte, two key Native American leaders in Nebraska. That work has led to public statues of both — Chief Standing Bear in the U.S. Capitol Visitor in Washington, D.C., and both on Lincoln’s Centennial Mall.
She also actively advocates for the rights of Native women and children; serves as a co-chair on the community advisers council for the Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project; and has supported multiple university-led projects and programs, from book projects to multi-million research/outreach initiatives.
The Office of Research and Economic Development nominated gaiashkibos for the honor.
“A kind, humble and influential community leader — and an invaluable partner to many of us at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln — Judi is very deserving of this recognition,” the nomination letter said. “We are hard-pressed to think of another trailblazer in our community who is as relentless in their commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence and modeling of the ideals espoused by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”