43rd Annual MLK Celebration Leadership Award Recipient: Tremaan Robbins
Year 4, Mechanical Engineering
43rd Annual MLK Leadership Award
Tremaan, currently a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering, set an important precedent for individual protest, by kneeling during the national anthem with the MIT Football Team. As one of the four Black members of the team, he courageously stepped up to his coach, telling him he felt uncomfortable with police brutality nationally and decided to follow the example of many in the National Football League. Robbins stood strong in his principles, despite the possible ostracizing by his teammates and reduction of playing time by his coach.
Later, with the support of his coach and others at MIT, Tremaan led the development of a pilot program to openly discuss social issues (including police brutality) with his teammates and training to consciously consider the identities and struggles of the marginalized groups at MIT and in the US. This will in return produce more socially-aware student leadership across the Institute.
Tremaan has demonstrated integrity in controversial situations, innovative program development, and establishment of a sustainable foundation for Chocolate City. He led a ten-person committee through the arduous process of reforming and codifying our community values, in addition to working with the Student Activities office to on options for turnover, officer duties and disciplinary actions. Robbins’ foresight produced a sustainable leadership model for Chocolate City in addition to a new Constitution.
Much like Dr. King’s effect on the world, Tremaan will leave an indelible mark on MIT through his social awareness seminar with MIT athletics and as an impactful leader in the community.