MLK Award

Image of Shaundel SpiveyShaundel Spivey

UWL alum Shaundel Spivey recognized

A UW-La Crosse alum who has a passion for creating social change received the community’s 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award.

Shaundel Spivey, a 2012 graduate, was honored at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Celebration Monday, Jan. 21, at the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center Main Theatre. The celebration included a presentation by David Dennis, Sr., on “What Does it Mean to be an American?” and recognition of the first Lynda Lowery Student Leadership Award.

Spivey, originally from Milwaukee, was a natural mentor while working across all groups and with faculty and staff to promote social justice on campus. He was known as a strong student leader and advisor in Black Student Unity, and was a founding member of Kings of NIA, an organization committed to the professional development of African-American men.

After graduation, Spivey’s commitment and passion for social justice also expanded to youth in the La Crosse community. With patience and a willingness to bring out the best in young people, Spivey worked to provide a safe place for children to learn, grow and experience their culture. 

In his previous position as a cultural liaison for the La Crosse School District, Spivey created and coordinated the annual Black Youth Summit. He also created an organization of black community leaders called Black Leaders Acquiring Collective Knowledge (B.L.A.C.K.). The organization raised more than $70,000 to sponsor a week-long trip for black and multi-racial youth to travel to historically black colleges universities, and visit cultural attractions in Washington, D.C.

Among Spivey’s other accomplishments, he has been a: 
• Ghana Study Abroad participant at UWL
• Counselor and senior staff leader for UWL’s Academic Success Institute
• Coordinator of UWL’s Know Your Legal Rights Program
• Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity member and advisor at UWL
• Leader of Culturally Responsive Approach professional trainings for School District of La Crosse teachers and administrators 
• City of La Crosse Human Rights Commission member
• Prodigy of Life Dance Ministry founder
• UWL Commitment to Diversity Scholarship Award recipient
• 7 Rivers Alliance’s Rising Stars Under 40 Award recipient
• Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday Community Celebration Planning Committee member
• Lynda Lowery Leadership Award founder 

Spivey has overcome a number of difficulties since graduation from UWL. In 2014 he and several other students experienced an apartment fire that destroyed all of their belongings. A year later, he was injured in a life-threatening assault in Milwaukee. During both, he demonstrated a capacity for resilience, tenacity and an ability to move forward in a positive fashion.

Spivey is currently College Connections Manager at Western Technical College where he provides leadership and oversight for admissions, registration, orientation, and K–12 relations. Established in 2009, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award was created to recognize leadership and commitment to building community, enhancing diversity and working for justice.