The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) of Greater Kansas City honored MCC-Longview President Kirk Nooks on Jan. 16 with the 2014 Black Achievers in Business and Industry Award. Nooks also presented the keynote address at the SCLC’s annual Scholarship Prayer Breakfast on Jan. 18.
“The entire college is honored when an employee earns an award like this,” MCC Chancellor Mark James said. “Dr. Nooks is an excellent leader, and it’s great to see him receive recognition from the community for his efforts.”
The SCLC held its annual convention the weekend before Martin Luther King Day, and Nooks referenced the late civil rights leader’s legacy to frame his keynote address to Black Achievers Society scholarship recipients and their families. Nooks noted that while many forerunners paved the way for civil rights by organizing, breaking down barriers and building relationships, it is up to the next generation to continue the work.
“You are destined to continue the legacy. By virtue of you being in your seat this morning, receiving this acknowledgement and scholarship, you may be receiving today. But tomorrow, we will expect you to commit to giving back,” Nooks said to the audience.
The Black Achievers Society presents the award annually to African-Americans working in leadership positions in the Kansas City region that exhibit corporate accomplishment, better their community through civic and philanthropic activity and mentor others to achieve their goals. The society, founded by U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, has inducted 500 members since it began in 1974. Chris Kelly, MCC program coordinator for supplier diversity and a 2005 inductee of the Black Achievers Society, nominated Nooks.
“Dr. Nooks exemplifies everything the Black Achievers stand for,” Kelly said “The leadership he provides in his role at MCC helps put so many youth on the path towards success not just in the classroom but in their lives, too.”