Transforming people’s lives through access to affordable housing, improving literacy in some of Syracuse’s most impoverished communities, using the art of step to give back, increasing public health awareness at an area high school, and providing essential medical supplies to a hospital at the epicenter of the coronavirus—five unique endeavors that highlight the Syracuse University community’s commitment to make the world a better place.
Marcelle Haddix, chair of the department of reading and language arts and Dean’s professor, will be honored with a 2020 Orange Circle Award for her work promoting literacy throughout the Syracuse community. The Orange Circle Awards recognize students, faculty, staff and alumni who possess a deep responsibility for acts that better society. Haddix and her fellow honorees will be celebrated at the Cantor Warehouse on March 26, during Forever Orange Week.
Haddix facilitates many literacy programs in the Syracuse community, including the Writing Our Lives project for urban youth writers, a Black women’s literary club and a free library project. Her work has earned her several awards, including the 2011 Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Teaching Recognition Award from Syracuse University. In conjunction with the Community Folk Arts Center in Syracuse, Haddix also created the program “Dark Girls: Celebration of Black Girlhood” in 2013 to support literacy, identity, self-esteem and social development of adolescent girls of color.
Her scholarly pursuits focus on the experiences of students of color in literacy and English teaching and teacher education, as well as the importance of centering Blackness in educational practices and spaces. Haddix, the faculty and staff awardee, is being honored for her commitment to the Greater Syracuse area and her efforts connecting the University to the community.
Other 2020 Orange Circle Award winners include Lisa Gordon G’90, president and chief executive officer of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, and student organizations Black Reign Step Team, Food Busters and a Hand for Wuhan.