During the annual program celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , at the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMN Crookston), Cynthia Shabb, Ph.D., and the Global Friends Coalition were recognized as recipients of the 2019 Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Diversity Award, a special honor first presented in 2013. The award was presented by UMN Crookston Vice Chancellor John Hoffman following the Unity Walk on Monday, January 21, 2019.

Shabb has been with Global Friends Coalition since January 2011 and serves as the organization's executive director. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in English education from the University of Minnesota, a master’s in Library Science from Vanderbilt University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of North Dakota (UND). She has served as an administrator at UND in several roles including director of the Teaching and Learning doctoral program, assistant dean of the Graduate School, and head of collection development and library advancement at the Chester Fritz Library (http://www.gfcoalition.org/who-we-are.html). 

The Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Diversity Award recognizes a Red River Valley native or resident who has actively impacted their community by promoting diversity, multiculturalism, equality, and human rights through demonstrated leadership, service, and advocacy on behalf of the underrepresented populations and diverse individuals.

In the photo, left to right, are Lorna Hollowell, director of diversity and multicultural programs; Vice-Chancellor John Hoffman; Cynthia Shabb, executive director, Global Friends Coalition; and Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause.