Seniors Awarded by The Princeton Prize in Race Relations
By Karissa Chen, Senior Communications Intern
Nabia Evans ‘19 and Shomari Hollis ‘19, were recognized at the 2019 Reception and Awards Ceremony for the Princeton Prize in Race Relations of Central and Southern New Jersey. The ceremony was held on May 1 at the John Maclean House at Princeton University. The senior students were awarded Certificates of Accomplishment in recognition for their work of engaging and challenging their school and community to promote racial equity, respect and understanding of all people.
Shomari Hollis founded Notre Dame’s African-American Club and recruited many of its original members. In order to encourage greater inclusion among the student body, the organization is now called the SHADES Club, with Shomari serving as its co-president. As a freshman, Shomari helped to organize and plan the first SHADES retreat, which has now become an important annual school event. Each year, more than 100 SHADES members attend these retreats, as well as representatives of many other clubs and athletic teams. He is responsible for organizing several panels at each of these retreats, one of them being “Taking a Stand on Taking a Knee.” During his sophomore year, Shomari was involved in planning a presentation to Notre Dame’s faculty on racial issues. Shomari also produced an educational video that highlighted this presentation, and this video was shown to the entire school community during the Black History Month liturgy. This video is now shown to every incoming freshman class and every new teacher at Notre Dame!
Shomari’s advisor, Ms. Rose M. Stevenson ‘75, says that “It is rare during my 16 years of teaching for me to say that a student has come along and truly changed the hearts and minds of a school community. With honesty I can say that student is Shomari Hollis.”
Nabia Evans is a member of the Leadership Council for the SHADES Club, and has been instrumental in the planning and implementation of several historic events at Notre Dame High School. Throughout high school, Nabia worked to inspire open and honest communications about race and diversity among students and staff. Committed to expanding the understanding of the rich traditions of African American history, Nabia lead events that positively impacted the atmosphere and culture of Notre Dame. She helped to organize three annual retreats that engaged both students and faculty. These retreats serve as a platform for honesty and understanding between students and staff, becoming a vital tradition of Notre Dame High School. One of Nabia’s most significant contributions was her leadership in planning and delivering a traditional African American prayer service for the first retreat, facilitated by Nabia and her family. Taking the lead of this historic black worship experience, Nabia has made this prayer service a tradition on these annual retreats.
Shomari and Nabia were both sponsored for this award by Ms. Eileen C. Marx, a World Religions teacher and faculty moderator of the SHADES Club at Notre Dame High School.
Notre Dame would like to thank Shomari and Nabia for all of their hard work and dedication. Congratulations to both of them on being recognized by the prestigious Princeton Prize!
Located on 100 beautiful acres in Central New Jersey, Notre Dame High School, founded in 1957, is a college preparatory school for grades 9 - 12, preparing young men and women for lives of purpose, built upon a foundation of Catholic faith, with a commitment to academics, co-curricular activities and service to others.