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Buford Peace Award Accepting Nominations

Alaina Upman

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Each year, the Buford Peace Award honors a faculty member whose hard work, teaching, research, practice and professional life has promoted justice and peace among others.

The Buford Peace Award was established by Tony Walker, an alumnus of The University of Alabama’s School of Social Work. The award is named after Lahoma Adams Buford, who served her community without desire for recognition. Buford dedicated her life to build a better, just and more peaceful world, Vickie Whitfield, spokesperson for the University’s School of School Work, said.

“According to Mr. Walker, Buford was the epitome of a person at peace within herself, and whose devout religious values of showing unconditional love, respect, tolerance and forgiveness [and not judging others] as served as the foundation of her life,” she said.

Buford was known as “Mom Buford,” where she was a dormitory supervisor at Faulkner University in Montgomery. Whitfield said she was loved and held in high esteem by all who knew her.

“The past winners feel humbled and honored to have their peers, co-workers and students recognize the importance of justice and peace in their lives and the way they try to live, greatly adds to the significance of the award,” she said.

Cassandra Simon, associate professor in the University’s School of Social Work and editor of the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, was the first recipient of the Buford Peace Award in 2004.

“This award is about more than ‘a job well done,’” Simon said. “This is about how you choose to use your time on this earth, about how and what you choose to do with your time as a researcher and educator.”

Simon said she has been fortunate to receive a number of awards throughout her career thus far, but the Buford Peace Award has a special place in her heart. She said believes it’s all about the legacy you leave behind on this earth.

“Everything about this award, from the person who endowed the award to the person for whom it is named, each exude kindness, goodness, peace and a sense of how we as human beings should be,” Simon said. “The fact that you get some recognition for making the effort to be a decent human being, well, that’s icing on the proverbial cake.”

Students, faculty members and others are invited to nominate faculty members before the deadline Friday. Highest priority will be given to the School of Social Work’s faculty members, but researchers from other areas have won the award in the past, Whitfield said. The recipient of the award will receive $1,000 award and will be recognized at a ceremony this spring. 

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Buford Peace Award Accepting Nominations