May 26, 2020

Distinguished Young Alumnus Award, Marlon Peterson (BA ’15)

Four graduates of the NYU School of Professional Studies who have shown an outstanding commitment to their communities were honored on NYU Alumni Day with the Bart Lawson Alumni Award for Service. Created in memory of the late H.E. Bartholomew Lawson, an alumnus of the Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies (formerly the Paul McGhee Undergraduate Division), as well as a public servant, executive, and healthcare advocate, the Awards are presented for three categories of service—humanitarianism, professional service, and public service. DAUS alumnus Marlon Peterson was one of these recipients. 

Marlon Peterson (BA '15 in Organizational Behavior and Change) is founder and president of Precedential Group, a social justice consultancy that works to address the trauma revolving around the intersections of race, gender, violence, police violence, and community violence. His TED Talk, “Am I not human? A Call for Criminal Justice Reform,” has amassed over 1.1 million views. He also is the host of the DEcarcerated podcast, which highlights the journeys of resilience, redemption, and success of formerly incarcerated people. Peterson has spearheaded the creation of two youth development programs in NYC: How Our Lives Link Altogether (H.O.L.L.A!) and Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets (YO SOS). He has written extensively, and his pieces have been featured in USA Today, The Huffington Post, The Nation, Ebony, and on Gawker.

Peterson is working on his first book, Bird Uncaged: Promise to Sing About Me, with Bold Type Books. He earned a BA in organizational behavior and change from the NYU SPS Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies and an associate of applied science in criminal justice from Ashworth University.


A version of this article appeared in the NYU School of Professional Studies Student Newsletter, Spring 2020, p. 17.

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