Nia Daniels ’20 Malcolm/King Award Winner Hopes to Promote Social Change Through Cybersecurity

Nia Daniels ’20 Malcolm/King Award Winner Hopes to Promote Social Change Through Cybersecurity

Nia Daniels ’20 Malcolm/King Award Winner Hopes to Promote Social Change Through Cybersecurity

To continue our celebration of Black History month, and in anticipation of our 29th Malcolm/King Awards Breakfast, we spoke with the recipients of the Malcolm/King Award. Their success serves as an inspiration to students of all races, and their deep understanding and appreciation of African-American history is a testament to the many contributions African-Americans have made to this country. In our next spotlight, we meet Nia N. Daniels, a junior majoring in Fraud Examination and Financial Forensics.

February is Black History Month. What does it mean to you to celebrate the many achievements generations of African-Americans have accomplished?
As an African-American, it’s important to celebrate those who have made a major contribution to our society—not just this month, but every single day. We should celebrate African-American achievements daily. Learning about the different African-Americans who have helped lead the way towards justice, fairness, and equality is vital.

What goals do you have for advancing equality and fairness for all people, especially African-Americans?
One of my goals is to create change in regards to policy and law. I just got accepted into the 2019 Congressional Hispanic Institute. I see myself creating different policies, especially for people of color. I want to create programs that are going to help people learn more about African-American history, Afro-Latino history, and Latino history to make change. My grandmother is Dominican, so I identify as Afro-Latina. It’s important for me to honor my roots.

“I want to create programs that are going to help people learn more about African-American history, Afro-Latino history, and Latino history to make change.”—Nia N. Daniels

When you think of African-American history, what makes you the proudest?
When I think of African-American history, I think of justice and the goal of attaining equality. There have been so many African-Americans who have put their lives on the line and sacrificed so much of their time and effort because they were dedicated to making society better for everyone. I think of people like Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Fredrick Douglas, and Maya Angelou. These are just a few, but there are many more.

If you could talk to Malcolm X or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., what would you ask them?
I would definitely thank Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for promoting equality and justice for African-Americans. He plays such a vital and large role in African-American history and because of what he did, I now have the opportunity to go forth and promote equality and justice in my community.

Dr. King once famously said, “Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” As a student at a school focused on justice, what does that quote mean to you?
Focusing on the justice part, I think what he meant was that justice is important and that change is progress. This quote shows that we are trying to work our way to achieve justice, but that it’s not something that is going to happen within a short period of time. Achieving justice shouldn’t take a long time, but ultimately, we will get there.

“When I think of African-American history, I think of justice and the goal of attaining equality.” – Nia N. Daniels

What does it mean to you receiving the Malcolm/King Award?
Receiving this scholarship validates hard work, determination, and motivation—not just my own, but the work of those that came before me. At church, I teach African-American history to my students. As a person of color, I'm always looking for different African-American figures that I can teach my students about—giving them figures to look up to. Receiving this scholarship that bears the names of these two iconic figures I’ve admired all my life means a lot to me.

If everything goes according to plan, where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I see myself owning my own cybersecurity business. I'm very passionate about cybersecurity and social activism, so I definitely want to combine those two together to promote change.