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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Dr. Starck Honored with 2017 Bayard Rustin Award

Dr. Tanis King Starck
She has advocated and fought for social justice, equal rights and cultural proficiency for more than 20 years.

Last month, Dr. Tanis King Starck’s efforts and dedication to promote equality were recognized with the 2017 Bayard Rustin Lifetime Achievement Award.

"One cannot but be humble for being singled out to be honored with such a prestigious award,” said Dr. Starck, assistant dean of special projects for the College of Education. “In receiving this award, I acknowledge all the sacrifices, resolve and courage of millions of ‘so-called’ ordinary men, women and youth who shall never achieve such recognition.”

The Bayard Rustin Lifetime Achievement Award was created four years ago by City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez, and Carolina Ramos of the LGBT Center to honor Rustin’s contributions in the fight for civil rights. Murray Ramirez is also campaigning to get a U.S. postage stamp issued in honor of Bayard Rustin.

Rustin was a mentor and strategist for Martin Luther King Jr and a key figure and deputy director of the 1963 “March on Washington” where Reverend King delivered his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech.

Rustin was openly homosexual in the 1950s and 60s when it was completely unheard of, especially as a black civil rights leader. According to President Obama, Rustin “was denied his rightful place in history because he was openly gay.”

In 2013 Rustin received the “Presidential Medal of Freedom” from President Obama and his partner Walter Naegle accepted it on his behalf.

“We are very proud of Dr. Starck and delighted that she was recognized with this award,” said Marilyn Bredvold, assistant to the dean of the College of Education.

Dr. Starck received the award at the annual “San Diego Bayard Rustin Honors,” sponsored by the LGBT Community Center, the Imperial Court de San Diego and the San Diego GLBT Historic Task Force.

“I stand on the shoulders of activists, civil rights attorneys, struggling parents, families, teachers and students who are realizing that we live in a system that has divided and impoverished many,” Starck continued. “Once we increase our cultural sensitivity, awareness and knowledge of each other, we can all stand together and fight against those things that were meant to destroy us."