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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

NAACP Recognizes UMB’s Alkia Powell

The Boston branch of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People honored University of Massachusetts Boston’s very own Alkia Powell. The NAACP recognized Powell for being one of thirteen Difference Makers of 2015. Powell is UMass Boston’s coordinator of community services. 
The NAACP gives the Difference Maker award to individuals that take time to uplift, transform, and empower communities. Powell goes into the communities of Boston to develop, create, and maintain partnerships with organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, the YMCA, Boston Police Department, elder services, political legislators, and the mayor’s office.
Powell sees herself as a person that lingers in the background. She does the work that needs to get done, but she does not feel the need to get recognized for her work.
“Joy and gratitude is how I truly feel about receiving the NAACP’s ‘Difference Maker’ award. To be recognized by such a distinguished organization with such a long history of noble struggle can be overwhelming,” she said.
“The things I have been blessed to do, through God’s grace and mercy, was not for any self-recognition,” said Powell as she learned she received the award.
After she lost a close friend at a young age, Powell realized she had to do something for her community, even if it meant helping one child at a time. This year, she worked on a project called “Overcoming Violence: A City Working Together.” This project was under works for over two years with the county district attorney office. This project involves a six-week curriculum that teaches young people in at-risk communities to understand violence.
“We have facilitators that go out to these schools and community centers to teach it,” said Powell. “To be the forefront person for that project was amazing. It hit home for me,” she said.
Powell did not consider community service as her life work. The opportunity unfolded before her, and before she could blink, it consumed her as her profession. The NAACP saw all of Powell’s hard work, even though she was mostly behind the scenes. 
She continues to do great work within her community, one project at a time, hoping to change one life at a time. 
The UMass Boston community is proud to have her as a part of the team.