Linda Esah

In her fifth year at Washington University in St. Louis, Linda is completing her third major, graduating in May with a B.A. in English and additional majors in Psychology and American Culture Studies with a minor in Business.

One of Linda’s greatest achievements has been her leadership in Action for Women’s Rights and Equality (AWARE), a Campus Y organization that provides twice-a-week mentoring to underprivileged African-American girls to develop their leadership skills, entrepreneurial abilities, academic achievement, personal health and artistic talents.

As part of Washington University’s Amnesty International Chapter, Linda has advocated for the Civilian Oversight Board on Police Brutality. In the position of service coordinator, she added a service component to the Campus Week of Dialogue’s activities, encouraging others to see the importance of combining social justice, direct service and advocacy. Linda also co-wrote and revised the Social Justice Center’s Resident Advisor manual on diversity and social justice, while encouraging self-awareness, academic success, diversity and social justice among her own residents.

Linda’s other commitments include serving on the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration committee and the Community Service Advising Team, participating in the Black Women/Jewish Women Dialogue Group, tutoring with Each One Teach One, conducting research for the American Culture Studies Program and participating in the Women’s Leadership Training Institute and the Summer Leaders program.

Although involved in a plethora of activities and programs to benefit the St. Louis community, Linda’s greatest impact in her ability to inspire her peers on a more personal one-on-one level, challenging her friends and residents to question their assumptions about the St. Louis region, to get involved in the community and to advocate for equality.

Her nominator, Glenn Davis ’03, describes Linda as a person, “who exemplifies commitment to a community, who understands the value of putting sweat where complaints fall short, who exudes the will to help others and who truly possesses an ethic of service.”