Acts of Kindness, African Students Association Awarded 2023 Santos-Dumont Prize for Innovation

May 19, 2023

Two student organizations have been selected as recipients of the 2023 Santos-Dumont Prize for Innovation. The Santos-Dumont Prize recognizes unique and creative programs, events, initiatives, or projects from the past academic year which have had wide-reaching impact and visibility. The selection committee reviewed several nominations from the campus community, and is excited to recognize two winners.

Acts of Kindness

Five students from acts of kindness pose for 2023 santos-dumont prize

The first recipient is the Acts of Kindness Initiative (AOK). AOK is a civic service and advocacy group that hosts organized acts of kindness to serve the Princeton community and beyond. This year, the group focused on showing appreciation for Princeton’s dining and facilities staff. To show gratitude to staff who maintain Princeton’s buildings and the dining hall staff, who feed thousands of Princeton students every day, Acts of Kindness distributed care packages and thank you notes. The group also partnered with the Princeton One Respect campaign, wherein volunteers interview campus workers to share their stories through written and poster media.

Acts of Kindness has had a profound impact on campus, creating a culture of kindness across Princeton’s community. AOK’s advocacy for students, staff, and facilities workers serves to create a healthier and more fulfilling Princeton experience for all members of our community.

African Students Association

Nine students from Princeton's African students association pose for 2023 santos-dumont prize

The second recipient is Princeton’s African Students Association (PASA). PASA's innovative projects and events were instrumental in fostering a sense of belonging and community among pan-African students and the larger Princeton community. Over the past year, PASA hosted a suite of new programming, including their Rite of PASAge welcome event, bi-weekly Diasporic Discussions, the launch of the PASA Magazine, and cross-cultural community building events. PASA's efforts in bringing back the Sankofa Fashion Show deserves special recognition. This event showcases African fashion and celebrates African culture through music, dance, and performances. PASA's creativity, innovation, and dedication to promoting African culture and diversity have been evident through this event, which has become a highlight of Princeton's cultural calendar.

PASA's tireless efforts in promoting African culture, fostering intercultural understanding, and advocating for marginalized communities have been consistent and comprehensive. The impact has been far-reaching and transformative, setting a high standard for student-led organizations at Princeton and beyond, and inspiring other groups on campus.