JODI LANKFORD and JEFF PEVETO received the 1993 Griswold-Zepp Award in Voluntarism for their work to promote racial healing at Western Maryland College and in the Westminster community.
The award is given annually to a student submitting "the most creative and innovative proposal exemplifying the true spirit of voluntarism and community service." It carries with it a $1,250 stipend to fund their proposal to develop an orientation program for next fall's incoming freshmen at Western Maryland College.
Ms. Lankford and Mr. Peveto also hope to work with Carroll County Citizens for Racial Equality to reach out to Westminster high school students. They are seeking permission to show a PBS film about racism to high school classes and to distribute copies of an anti-racism community pledge to students.
Last year, the two helped establish a campus chapter of the Institute for the Healing of Racism.
College's comments: "I'm glad to see students interested in the issue of healing racism," said Philip R. Sayre, dean of student affairs.
Dr. Julie Badiee, adviser to the Baha'i Club, said Ms. Lankford and Mr. Peveto helped put together well-attended campus events promoting racial healing. They showed a PBS video, "Brown Eyes, Blue Eyes," which shows the arbitrariness of racism, brought to campus a speaker on Dr. Martin Luther King and organized a workshop on racial healing.
Volunteers' comments: Mr. Peveto said their work is aimed at educating people about racism without assigning blame for it. "If you start blaming people, people get turned off and stop listening."
"The word 'racism' seems to frighten people away," Ms. Lankford said, so their programs are given titles such as "Vision: Unity" and "Accepting Others."
They said more than 110 people -- or one in 10 of the college's students -- attended a workshop they organized in the spring of 1992. Participants discussed racism and its effects, and learned practical ways of fighting racism.
For example, "If you hear someone make a racist comment, say, 'I don't appreciate that,' " Ms. Lankford said.
Volunteers' background: Ms. Lankford, 20, of Severna Park, is a junior studying art/art history and sociology. She is head of performing arts for CAPBOARD, the college's programming panel, and is a member of Baha'i Club and the service organization Circle K.
Mr. Peveto, 21, of Jacksonville, Fla., is a senior studying business. He founded the WMC campus group SAFE, which promotes safety and teaches self-defense, and is a member of Baha'i Club and the Knights, a role-playing gaming club.
To nominate someone as Volunteer of the Week, call 751-7900 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Nominations may
be faxed to the office at 751-7916.