Multicultural Business Programs (MBP) celebrated a dozen years of Michigan State University students sharing stories about multicultural heroes with its 12th Annual Multicultural Heroes Hall of Fame Case Competition on Wednesday, February 20. Students from across campus came together at the Broad College of Business to make a case for their multicultural hero to be inducted into the Black History Month Multicultural Heroes Hall of Fame showcase, which is displayed from November through January in Eppley Center.

Teams of three chose a multicultural hero prior to the event, prepared their argument, and had ten minutes to present their case for why their hero should be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Each team was evaluated by a panel of MSU faculty that included Stefanie Lenway, Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean; Paulette Granberry Russell, senior advisor to MSU President for Diversity; and Lee June, Honors College professor.

As determined by the judges, team “B. the Change” won the competition and $1,500 with its compelling case for Susan B. Anthony, women’s and civil rights activist. The team consisted of Christina Cafagna, marketing freshman; Sarah McCarthy, supply chain management senior; and Pallavi Vadapalli, supply chain management freshman. Their strategy was to show audience members and the judges that Susan B. Anthony and Marin Luther King Jr. shared the same goals.

Six additional teams also competed in the event. Their presentations showcased the heroes Mother Teresa, Catholic nun and advocate for the poor; Cesar Chavez, labor leader and civil rights activist; Mahatma Ghandi, Indian independence leader and nonviolent social activist; A. Philip Randolph, civil rights activist and labor leader; Vine Deloria Jr., Native American activist and author; and W.E.B. Dubois, sociologist and civil rights activist.

The competition teams were comprised of undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines, including students from the Broad College, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, College of Education, College of Natural Science, the Honors College, and James Madison College. More than 220 people were in attendance, as well as an additional 20 representatives from the event’s corporate sponsor, Altria. Audience members were treated to $300 in prizes and an afterglow reception held after the competition for all participants and attendees.

Each year the event takes place in honor of Black History Month and helps students enhance their presentation skills, learn about influential people in history, and give students additional experience working in teams. According to MBP’s associate director and the event’s founder, Darrell King, the competition honors heroes who “exemplify the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King in terms of his mission of social justice and equal rights.”