Ebony Luster is Chosen as a Newman Civic Fellow

(LEBANON, Ill., March 28, 2019) — Ebony Luster of McKendree University has been chosen one of 262 Newman Civic Fellows for 2019-2020 by Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization that advances the public purposes of higher education. The one-year fellowship emphasizes personal, professional and civic growth for students who demonstrate leadership and commitment to solving public problems. Recipients are nominated by their college or university presidents.

The senior from Cahokia, Ill., is majoring in secondary education with a focus on English and minoring in psychology. Luster transferred to McKendree in 2015 and soon became involved as a student ambassador and social justice leader.

“Her understanding of diversity deepened and expanded when she started to meet people who held all sorts of intersecting identities,” said Dr. James Dennis, McKendree University president. “Ebony has dedicated her time to learning about them, as well as her own. She is always pushing herself to learn more, and has attended a number of workshops about topics such as sexual assault, race and inclusion, disability rights, and social justice around the U.S. She continues to deepen her understanding and brings the information back to campus, educating her peers in hopes that the idea of caring for others will become a part of campus culture.”

“My hopes and aspirations for social justice and social change include making sure that everyone regardless of their intersectional identities feels safe, appreciated and included in our society,” said Luster. “I am an advocate and ally for all marginalized communities and work to uplift everyone, whether I am directly affected by the issue I am fighting for or not. By working with others, I believe that you gain perspective and understand diversity of thinking.”

In January, she received McKendree University’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award, which recognizes compassion, understanding, tolerance and service. Luster is active in the Black Student Organization, president of the United Feminists group, involved in “It’s on Us” week on campus and in Leadership for Minorities in Education.

As a Newman Civic Fellow, she can participate in a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate.

“We are proud to recognize each of these extraordinary student leaders and thrilled to have the opportunity to engage with them,” said Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn. “The stories of this year’s Newman Civic Fellows make clear that they are committed to finding solutions to pressing problems in their communities and beyond.”

The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.


Ebony Luster

 Ebony Luster