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As the student coordinator of the UNC-Chapel Hill Gender Non-Specific Housing Coalition, Claybren advocated for inclusive, accessible and safe housing options on campus.

Claybren is a Women’s and Gender Studies major who has fought against harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and has campaigned for gender-neutral housing for most of his time at Carolina.

“Being the 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Award recipient,” said Claybren during his acceptance speech, “celebrates the accomplishments and transformational policies that I helped to achieve while providing me with financial support for the next academic year.”

Claybren also praised the Carolina Covenant program for the support it has given him while attending UNC. “Without having the financial support promised by UNC-Chapel Hill,” he said, “it would not have been possible for me to spend time on advocacy for I would have been solely focused on grades and paying for my education.”

The $1,500 winning and $1,000 runner-up scholarships are awarded each year during the UNC Martin Luther King Jr. celebration week to juniors. A committee of representatives from the UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, the Department of African and Afro-American Studies, the Black Student Movement, the office of Student Government, the Center for Public Service, the Division of Student Affairs, the Carolina Union, and the Campus Y select winners.

The runner-up awards were presented to Viviana Bonilla López, a San Juan, Puerto Rico, native majoring in photojournalism and minoring in entrepreneurship and Elizabeth Hawryluk, a political science major who is in London working for Parliament.

The committee selects winners based on the applicants’ activities and contributions that demonstrate their commitment to civil and human rights and their desire to improve the quality of life of all members of University community. Nominees are also judged on the ability to achieve and excel academically.

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Published February 1, 2013.