This year’s recipient of two awards for Africana Studies minors — the John T. Washington Scholarship Award for $500 and the John T. Washington Community Service Award for $250 — is Dalaya McFadden. The awards are in honor of Dr. John T. Washington, who was an associate professor of sociology at UCF, community leader and activist. Dr. Washington was the first black faculty member at UCF and served a significant role in the development of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, the African American Student Union and the Office of Multicultural Academic Support Services. He was also an advisor to several student organizations formed to represent minorities at UCF.
Dalaya McFadden is currently in her final year at UCF and majoring in Sociology with a minor in Africana Studies. She explained that her Africana Studies minor has “helped me achieve more understanding of what it means to be black” and also “challenged me to think beyond today’s society and shaped my…future views on black politics.” After she finishes college, she will become a full-time teacher where she aims to “help reconstruct black youth minds” as well as “stand with them and fight for them…to end generational curses.”
McFadden also has personal goals to become a leader in her community towards which she has made progress. She was one of the leaders in Central Florida who helped organize marches for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other African Americans who have lost their lives to police brutality. She is also a member of the New Black Panther Party, a group that fights against inequality and helps predominantly black communities.
When asked about how the scholarships will help her, she explained that they will help her in buying school materials, but they also have given her “validation that I can succeed.”