MALIK GOMES CRUZ ’15
When Malik Gomes Cruz, Class of 2015, accepted the CRS Young Alumni Award during the final assembly last spring, he took the opportunity to speak directly to CRS students of color: “To all the Black and Brown students, know that your achievements are extraordinary. Always strive to do the impossible.”
During the virtual address, he also thanked his CRS teachers for cultivating a love of lifelong learning. In particular, he thanked middle school teachers Chris Raskin and Leigh Hutchinson for teaching him to be a global citizen. Malik said, “While I didn’t realize at the time, I was becoming an advocate for social change. They cultivated my passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion work. Who I am is, in part, is because of Charles River School’s commitment and its dedication to forming socially aware students.”
After graduating from CRS, Malik attended Cambridge School of Weston, where he served as a dorm leader and a student leader for the Diversity Committee, Gay-Straight Alliance, Gender and Sexual Minorities, Queer People of Color, and Students Advocating for Life without Substance Abuse. He also participated in the NAIS People of Color Conference and Student Diversity Leadership Conference. During his time at CSW, Malik was closely involved in the planning and execution of numerous campus events, including Diversity Day, Social Justice Day, Culture Fest, Dance Concert, Evening of the Arts, New Student Orientation, and more.
Director of Student Programs for Equity & Inclusion at CSW, Jordan Clark, who worked closely with Malik on a number of projects, describes him as a “truly strong leader at CSW.” Jordan went on to say, “The core of Malik’s skill set is his ability to listen to those around him and always be willing to adapt. He leads with an empathy that allows him to connect with people in a sincere way. I cannot wait to see how Malik continues to use his opportunities to grow and affect change in the world.”
In spring 2019, Malik was accepted to the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars program at American University. As a member of this program, Malik received a full scholarship for all four years of his collegiate career. “It feels beyond surreal to win this incredible award,” Malik shares. “With the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program, I will be able to continue my passion for social justice advocacy and leadership. The FDDS program will provide me with the resources and connections I need to grow as a learner, student, and leader. I am extremely excited to be working with the other students in the program and esteemed faculty as I progress throughout my college years. I have been given a once in a lifetime opportunity and I plan to take advantage of it fully.”
Malik is in his sophomore year at American, where he is studying public relations and strategic communications.