Each year the Utah State Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission hosts a luncheon to present two individuals with Drum Major Awards to recognize their work in multicultural affairs. Nancy Livingston, a professor emerita of the McKay School of Education, received one of the 2011 awards for her ongoing work promoting literacy in diverse schools.
This year’s luncheon also commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Human Rights Commission. In attendance were Mark L. Shurtleff—the Utah State Attorney General and keynote speaker, along with The Human Rights Commission, the Ethnic Commission for Utah, the Black Association of Utah, and others. The recipient of the second Drum Major Award was Jacqueline Thompson, who founded the Hill Air Force Base African American Community Outreach program. She currently works in the Davis School District.
Livingston, who has worked in the field of literacy for several decades, stated that the award means a lot to her. “I am really humbled by all of this, for having my work acknowledged.” Livingston shared that she started on the path to multicultural education in the Ogden School District, where she first began teaching minority students.
The spirit of the Drum Major Award reflects Martin Luther King’s mission, seeking to recognize people working in the community to provide equity. According to the Society, Livingston was selected for the award to “recognize her for taking the lead and setting the tone for a more respectful, understanding, and accepting community, and to acknowledge her for her timeless and caring work for the children.”
Livingston’s work includes working as an education specialist in language arts, gifted/talented education, and early childhood education at the State Office of Education. She has also served as a classroom teacher, coordinator of Title I staff development in a local district, and director of an early childhood program. Additionally, she has been on the advisory board for the Guadalupe School, has taught professional development in Ogden school district, and has been on the governor’s committee. She also received the Charles E. Bennet UEA Human and Civil rights award in 2010.