Dr. Linda Lausell Bryant Honored with NYU Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award
Clinical Associate Professor Linda Lausell Bryant, the Director of both NYU Silver’s DSW Program and Adaptive Leadership in Human Services Institute, was selected as a 2022 recipient of NYU’s prestigious Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award. Sponsored by the Offices of the President and Provost in partnership with the Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation, the award recognizes outstanding faculty who exemplify the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through teaching excellence, leadership, social justice activism, and community building.
Dean Neil B, Guterman said that Dr. Lausell Bryant, who is also the School’s Katherine and Howard Aibel Executive-in-Residence, co-developer and instructor of our Antiracism Pedagogy Seminar for faculty and doctoral students, and advisor to our Macro Social Work Student Network, “advances the principles and ethos of Dr. King every day in her teaching, leadership, and mentorship. A contributor to the book Latinx in Social Work and co-author of both Social Work: A Call to Action – A Time for Reflection and Reckoning and A Guide for Sustaining Conversations on Racism, Identity, and our Mutual Humanity, she regularly models and shares lessons from all three with students, staff, and faculty colleagues.”
Dr. Lausell Bryant was honored along with the seven other 2022 MLK Jr. Faculty Award recipients from across the University in a virtual ceremony on February 8. The ceremony included tributes to Dr. Lausell Bryant from her nominators, student Trisha Regine Fuerte, MSW ’22, and alum Shahem McLaurin, MSW ’20.
Trisha, who is a member of Silver’s 2022 cohort of Adaptive Leadership Fellows, said “Dr. Lausell Bryant is a leader who gives the work back to us in such an intentional and compassionate way. Her classrooms are safe, honest, and full of beautiful and necessary growth. We are honored to learn from her and to be part of her legacy.”
Shahem, who worked closely with Dr. Lausell Bryant as the Adaptive Leadership Initiative MSW Intern during the 2019-2021 academic year, said “As a professor, mentor, community leader, and shining example of what it means to advocate for communities of all formats through deliberate action, organizing, and a profound sense of connection to our fellow person, Dr. Lausell Bryant has deeply impacted mine and many others’ lives in unequivocally positive ways. Dr. Lausell Bryant is one of the few people I have encountered in my life who, much like Dr. King, fully embodies what it means to be a champion for others.”
In her own remarks, Dr. Lausell Bryant reflected on the challenge of measuring up to an award in Dr. King’s name. “On the one hand,” she said, “it seems impossible, but on the other, I take heart in the aspect of Dr. King's legacy that pushes me to recognize the capacity that I have, and that each of us has, to serve as he did, with a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love. And to check myself in an often self-centered world and ask myself, what am I doing for others? I can and I will draw from the deep well of inspiration that Dr. King’s teachings and example have given us, especially the example of his humility and his humanity. I can, and I will continue to serve. I will keep taking steps even when I can’t see the whole staircase.”
Dr. Lausell Bryant also thanked her colleagues and students who join her in challenging injustice and promoting equity, as well as her family, living and departed, “for their love and their life lessons.” She concluded by thanking Dr. King “for sacrificing your life while never relinquishing your humanity. All these many years later, you remain a deep source of fuel for today’s battles and the many that lie ahead.”