Forrest Cox (BA '13) honored as a 2012 MLK Spirit Award recipient

February 14, 2012

Forrest Cox (BA '13) was recognized as a 2012 Central Campus Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Spirit Award recipient during the 26th annual MLK Symposium on Jan. 21 at the School of Social Work.

A proud member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, Cox is a Native American Studies minor and serves as external co-chair of the Native American Student Association. Last fall he coordinated a Native American Heritage Month event, "Rethinking Tribal Sovereignty," and is currently a leading planner for the 40th annual Ann Arbor Powwow, which aims to provide a space for gathering native and non-natives to teach and learn about American Indian ways of life.

"The inherent desire to spread American Indian cultural understanding and an awareness of issues facing American Indians is the basis for putting together events on campus," Cox said. "Exploring those two areas with the community on campus has been a rewarding experience."

The Seventh Annual Central Campus Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Spirit Awards honored students from the schools and colleges on Central Campus who best exemplify the leadership and extraordinary vision of the civil rights leader. Students were nominated by faculty and staff from the Business, Education, Kinesiology, Literature, Science, and the Arts, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Policy programs.

"In his interactions with different members of the staff, Forrest has consistently displayed a depth of understanding of issues that are important to him—in a way that belies his age," said the Ford School staff member who nominated Cox, Trey Williams, director of Student & Academic Services. "In his career at the University of Michigan, Forrest has directed his passion and concerns about the challenges of native peoples and organizations through his efforts and leadership on campus and in the greater community."

"Being a cultural ambassador has provided me with many great experiences on campus," Cox said. "But I hope in looking forward, that I can pass on to the native students at this university who will come after me this same desire to share and teach."