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January 16, 2020

A. Brian Leander, PhD, Honored with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award

Adelphi University’s A. Brian Leander, PhD, will be honored with a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Recognition Award by the MLK Birthday Celebration Committee of Nassau County, Inc. The award will be presented at the organization’s luncheon on Monday, January 20, at the Long Island Marriott in Uniondale, New York. Dr. Leander, manager of training and development in the Office of Human Resources, has led numerous projects and programs on campus and elsewhere that advance diversity and inclusion.

“It truly is an honor,” said Dr. Leander. “What it means to me is that some of the things I’ve been doing at Adelphi and in the community have impacted the lives of others in a positive way that echoes the work of Martin Luther King. Dr. King’s legacy resonates far beyond the short time he was on this planet, and I hope that what I do in my life reflects a part of that legacy.”

Dr. Leander oversees Adelphi’s highly successful Diversity Certificate Program, a voluntary program for faculty and staff that includes an intensive series of five workshops and a capstone experience addressing diversity and inclusion holistically. His leadership has led to more than 900 individuals taking part, thus promoting a more positive, welcoming and inclusive climate of intercultural awareness and respect throughout the University. Seeing the program’s success, Dr. Leander has taken the lead in taking it to organizations across Nassau County. For example, Sewanhaka Central High School District and Roosevelt Union Free School District have adopted it, helping bolster the learning environment in some of the county’s most diverse student populations.

Dr. Leander’s dedication to connecting the University with Long Island communities is also reflected in his development and direction of Leading in Community, a program that prepares persons of color for leadership positions in nonprofit and community organizations. Part of Adelphi’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership, the program addresses obstacles facing leaders of color and helps participants build leadership skills. In addition, he has long been involved with the Urban League of Long Island and served as a member of the organization’s State of Black Long Island (SOBLI) Equity Council, which published the seminal 2017 study Empowering Black Long Island: How Equity Is the Key to the Future of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

Before joining Adelphi in 2012 as assistant director of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership, Dr. Leander was the senior planning consultant with the Institute for Organizational Leadership (IOL), a nonprofit educational institution based in Jasper, Georgia. He received a BS from Dowling College and an MA in Organizational Leadership and a Graduate Certificate in Servant Leadership from Gonzaga University. He earned a PhD in Organizational Leadership at Eastern University.

In 2019, Perry Greene, PhD, now retired as vice president for diversity and inclusion at Adelphi, was a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Recognition Award recipient as well.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Committee of Nassau County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to continuing the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the intellectual advancement of Nassau County youth by way of support through scholarship. Each year, the committee hosts an event to celebrate Dr. King by honoring outstanding members of the community. For more information on the luncheon, contact Rodney H. McRae at


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Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

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