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Designing Change

March 1, 2017

UMD faculty member works for social justice.

University of Minnesota Duluth Assistant Professor Terresa Hardaway received Duluth's Drum Major for Peace Award in January at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Rally at the DECC Auditorium in Duluth.

Terresa in her graphic design classroom.

Terresa started teaching graphic design in the UMD School of Fine Arts in August 2016 and about the same time, she joined the Duluth chapter of the NAACP. There she began volunteering as a graphic designer and not much later, she took on the job of official graphic artist for the 2017 Twin Ports MLK planning committee. 

"I was looking for people that I was comfortable with, and I found out that an NAACP meeting was being held right after I arrived in Duluth," she says. "I've been a member ever since."

Terresa knows most northern cities have small diverse communities. "I heard about people that left Duluth because they felt alienated," she said. "I didn’t want to leave, so I needed to find a community." The NAACP has a history of fighting injustice and that attracted Terresa. "I knew I could find allies in the group,” she says.

The posted for the student exhibition.

Terresa brings her graphic design skills to the NAACP but she also brings awareness about race and inclusion into her classroom. She  weaves current events and culture into her assignments. Recently Terresa’s students exhibited their work at an art show at Zeitgeist Art Center in downtown Duluth. Each student created a portrait design of a Black activist inspired by the style of a Black designer. They also presented the work and story of the activist and designer in a correlating booklet.

About the Drum Major for Peace Award

The Twin Ports MLK Holiday Committee and Duluth NAACP Drum Major for Peace Award recognizes citizens and organizations who have gone beyond their regular duties to build awareness, speak up for justice, celebrate diversity, and work towards building a better future.

The “Drum Major” refers to a speech King delivered in Atlanta two months before his 1968 assassination, in which he said, "Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.”

The Justice for Peace award was established by the late Rev. Arthur Foy of the St. Mark AME church and is presented every year at the MLK rally at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

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