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Page last updated on January 17, 2023 at 2:01 pm

For more information, please contact

Michael Shermis, Special Projects Coordinator, Community and Family Resources Department or 812-349-3471


Dr. Gloria Howell, Chair, 

City of Bloomington Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission 


Andrew Krebbs, Communications Director, Office of the Mayor or 812-349-3406




City of Bloomington Awards Nancy Cross-Harris with Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award for 2023

Bloomington, Ind. - For her lifelong commitment to justice, passion for serving others, and deep community involvement, Nancy Cross-Harris has been given the City’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award for 2023. Selected by the City of Bloomington's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Commission, Cross-Harris accepted the award from Deputy Mayor Mary Catherine Carmichael at Monday night’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration at the Buskirk Chumley Theater. The award recognizes and affirms those who have made significant contributions in the areas of race relations, justice, and human rights and is presented annually in January.

Cross-Harris exemplifies the characteristics of an individual who is committed to race relations, justice, and human rights causes. She has a passion for the history of Bloomington and Black history at Indiana University. She shares her wealth of knowledge on the history of Bloomington, Black IU, and the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, as well as the stories of her experiences and the rich histories of the community that she serves. She uses her passion and care for the history of the Neal-Marshall and the Black community in Bloomington to inspire the work that she engages in. She keeps those who she works with connected to the foundation that the legacy of Black folks inspired within the Black campus and wider community in Bloomington. She isn’t afraid to connect students, campus partners, and community members to the social resources that she possesses from being a longstanding Bloomington community resident.


In the Bloomington community you can find her at Bethel AME Church doing what she loves: being in service. She has been instrumental in several aspects of the church's ministries and facilities' upkeep. She co-teaches Sunday school and she serves as a steward; both of these roles have led to her responding to the spiritual needs of church patrons through prayer and education. She also gives much time and energy to making sure the church facilities are visibly presentable when church members and guests enter. Any given day, she may be the first one to arrive and the last to leave. At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, she was also very involved in the church's Food Distribution Ministry. She shopped for groceries, prepared food boxes, and distributed them to families in need. Most recently, Mrs. Nancy was very instrumental in securing the naming of Bethel AME, Bloomington’s oldest predominantly black congregation church, as an historic site in the city of Bloomington.