2021 Award Recipients
Undergraduate Student Award Recipient
Zina Karas (Liberal Studies '21)
With a passion to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) on a global scale; teach international feminism; and facilitate workshops that dissect queer language and culture, Zina has and will continue to leave a legacy.
Zina has held many DEI-focused leadership positions at NYU, including serving as the Global Equity Fellow in NYU Madrid and as the Gallatin Global Fellow in Urban Practice. She has also served on the NYU BeTogether Global Education and Engagement Subcommittee. Zina has extensive experience working for USAID, the CDC, and the US Embassies in Ghana and Tanzania to address health policies, educational development, and community outreach. Additionally, she led the social media outreach team of Right to the City and interned for COLEGAS-Confederación LGBT Española.
As many BIPOC students experience racial discrimination while studying away, Zina constantly hosted events and discussions which sought to build community among her peers. These experiences better equipped them to combat the complexities of their study away experiences. With her healing and compassionate leadership skills, she demonstrates the perfect balance of kindness, grace, and tenacity. Like Dr. King and Dr. Carey, her impetus is to focus on what it is that unites us across difference and to identify our common struggles.
Graduate Student Award Recipient
Briana Adline Royster (GSAS '22)
Briana has dedicated her life's work to advocating for the historically silenced and most underserved in America, specifically focusing on the experiences of Black women.
Briana has served in many leadership roles at NYU and beyond, including as senior mentor for African Diaspora concentration students, participating as a member of the Organization of American Historians subcommittee related to women and gender history, and aiding in the 2018 Atlantic World Conference and a panel for the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora. Her groundbreaking research and approach has already distinguished her as a first-rate scholar and leader in academic circles from various fields.
Most notably, her work as the graduate student representative for the History Department’s Diversity Committee has been instrumental in revising the department’s keystone, Approaches to Historical Research and Writing course and rethinking its recruitment practices in order to intentionally recruit qualified candidates of color for graduate positions. Briana has demonstrated her commitment to uplifting and building sustainable communities for students of color, especially during the challenging circumstances this pandemic has presented for so many. She accomplishes this work with humility and compassion, in line with the spirit and leadership of Dr. King and Dr. Carey.