Meet the 2015 Africana Studies Distinguished Service Award Recipient Daisy M. Jenkins

June 2nd, 2015

On May 13, 2015, during its end of year reception at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort in Tucson, AZ, the University of Arizona's Africana Studies Program awarded its second and annual Distinguished Service Award in recognition and appreciation of an individual who strongly supports and advocates for the Africana Studies Program. 

Ms. Daisy M. Jenkins is the second recipient of this award. We are pasting below the speech that the Director of Africana Studies, Prof. Alain-Philippe Durand, gave to present Ms. Jenkins with a well deserved award:

A year ago, the Africana Studies Program decided to create a new award: The Distinguished Africana Studies Service award in recognition and appreciation of an individual who strongly supports and advocates for the Africana Studies Program.

It is truly an honor and privilege to introduce to you the 2015 recipient: Ms. Daisy M. Jenkins.

A graduate of the University of Arizona’s College of Law, Ms. Jenkins is President of Daisy Jenkins & Associates and a retired human resources executive with over thirty-three years of experience in Fortune 500 companies. She has written several articles published by The Root,, and The Huffington Post. She is also the author of the book Within the Walls. A Journey Through Sexism and Racism in Corporate America.

Ms. Jenkins is an education advocate, she is passionate about the plight of young African American males, and she mentors diverse professionals across the country.

We are very lucky to have her in the Tucson community and at the University of Arizona where she continues to tirelessly volunteer some of her time. At the U of A, she has played and continues to play a major role in attracting African American students. For several years, she has served on the very important African American Community Council, including as Chair. Among other things, she helps organize every year the very successful and fun African American Community Council Welcome Back reception and speed mentoring that the Africana Studies Program is proud to co-sponsor.

In addition, Ms. Jenkins has been a strong advocate for the Africana Studies Program. In spite of her many commitments, she is always there when we need her. She has given lectures to our students and colleagues on her book and she has participated to the Africana Studies Open House. She has helped the Africana Studies Program in recruiting and welcoming new colleagues, taking time to have dinner with some of the candidates we recently interviewed. Finally, and most importantly, she has been a direct link between the Africana Studies Program and the Tucson community. Most recently, she played a central role in helping the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and the Africana Studies Program in co-sponsoring the very successful Black Life Matters Conference that took place on the UA campus in January.

Consequently, on behalf of all the faculty, majors, and minors in the Africana Studies Program, I would like to publicly thank Daisy for all she has done on our behalf and for all she continues doing for diversity at the University of Arizona. 

I am honored to give the Distinguished Africana Studies Service Award to Ms. Jenkins along with a selection of books that represent the many exciting features of our program. Please join me in congratulating Daisy M. Jenkins!