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Jyce Relaford, Jayla Anderson, Kate S.H. Kim, Elsa Holahan

YNHH presents Martin Luther King Jr. awards

Each year, Yale New Haven Hospital presents its Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Awards to New Haven high school students who exemplify the civil rights icon’s ideals. On April 8 this year, Yale New Haven Health’s Institute for Excellence and Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion presented the awards to four students, who researched and wrote about Martin Luther King Jr.’s contributions.

Excerpts from their essays follow.

Jyce Relaford: “The tribulations of Dr. King Jr. and his journey inspires me as a young Black woman to be vocal and hopeful about change, advocating a non-violent approach to combat injustices.”

Jayla Anderson: “Less than a century ago, my ancestors were more than figuratively ripping off the shackles an entire society put on them. Maybe some people in my generation are still learning how to maneuver the lock, but Dr. King made it his life’s mission to make that escape easier.”

Kate S.H. Kim: “Following the (Black Lives Matter) civil rights protests of 2021 and the pandemic which has encapsulated much of my youth, I learned how much injustice still exists in America. Through Martin Luther King Jr. I learned how to fight it.”

Elsa Holahan: “Martin Luther King Jr.’s efforts in the 1950s Civil Rights movement have compelled me to address academia’s inequalities and to continue working towards absolute educational justice.”