U of T Celebrates

The University of Toronto is home to some of the world’s top faculty, students, alumni and staff. U of T Celebrates recognizes their award-winning accomplishments.

Kassia Neckles

Kassia Neckles wins inaugural Lesra Martin Student Changemaker Award

August 10, 2021

Kassia Neckles, a fourth-year student majoring in cinema studies and English, has been named an inaugural recipient of the Lesra Martin Student Changemaker Award.

The award is presented to Innis College students who have worked to effect change for Black lives through creative and innovative scholarship or extra-curricular activity.

Neckles was recognized for her publications analyzing race, representation and portrayals of Blackness in film. 

“It can be very easy for me to undermine my efforts and work as inconsequential, both as a single person in a world of billions and as a Black person in a world so rife with anti-Blackness,” she said.

“This award, in a sense, assures me that my efforts to support my community and inspire change are not entirely futile.”

The award was initiated by Martin, an alumnus of Innis College, who is known for his remarkable personal journey from poverty and illiteracy to a successful career as a lawyer. 

Read the U of T News story