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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Professor Gets Lifetime Achievement Award

Earlier this month, Professor Darren Kew was presented with a lifetime achievement award. The Yoruba Elders International Society, an organization that is made up of West Africans located in Rhode Island, rewarded him with this award.  For the past 20 years Kew has done research and social justice work in Nigeria. Kew is the director of the McCormack Graduate School’s Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development.
Recently he has been a part of Nigeria’s presidential election. Kew’s research looks into the intersection of democratic thought and conflict resolution, particularly in terms of the roles that civil society groups’ play. He spent many years of his research looking at the impact Nigerian civil society groups had on building democracy in Nigeria. He based his findings on the ways that they dealt with their internal conflicts and their approach to the state. Kew has interviewed a lot of religious institutions during the last ten years on this topic causing him to look closer into their interfaith.
            “I was very surprised and honored. The surprise is that I am only 46, so although I no longer count as young, it still seems a bit early to be receiving a lifetime achievement award,” said Kew. “But it is certainly an honor to receive it, especially from a Nigerian diaspora organization like the Yoruba Elders International Society, and in many ways I feel that the award really honors the many amazing Nigerian activists and scholars who I have been privileged to interview and work with over the years.”
Kew was inspired by the Anti-Apartheid Movement of the 1980s and by being inspired he took the time to take a class on African politics. After these classes, he took an interest in the continent of Africa. In grad school, Kew was presented with an opportunity to intern with a Nigerian human rights organization in the summer of 1993.
“If you are interested in the nexus between democracy, social justice, religion, and culture like I am, the country is amazing; so much is happening in these areas and so much needs to be done.” Kew reflects back on his time with his research and his experience being in Nigeria: “More importantly, the people I met in Nigeria were amazing — full of energy, ideas, and spirit.  Every time I go back, I am still blown away by something or someone new there.  It’s a real privilege to be able to work with people that you know are transforming their country.”
The University of Massachusetts Boston is proud to have someone like Professor Darren Kew as part of the faculty. She is someone who has achieved so much in such little time and a person who makes a difference in one way or another.