Established in 2023, the Allen B. Ballard Prize is awarded to a Kenyon student in recognition of an outstanding scholarly project that promotes understanding of the history, cultures and peoples of the African diaspora by focusing on issues pertaining to social justice. The prize is $500 and named in honor of Kenyon alumnus Allen Ballard ’52 H’04, emeritus professor of history and Africana studies at the University at Albany, SUNY.

Submission Guidelines

We welcome student work in a variety of formats:

  • Papers (essays, poems, posters)
  • Art installations (digital interactive storytelling, exhibition designs or proposals)
  • Art (painting, sculpture, drawing or collage)
  • Multimedia (videos, websites, audio or images)
  • Performances (dance, film, musical and theatrical performances). For live performances, prize applicants are encouraged to submit with sufficient time for the prize committee to view the performance. Please include dates, location and time.

Projects must have been completed at Kenyon between March 1, 2023 and February 23, 2024.

How to Apply

  • Include a cover letter (300-500 words) that describes the rationale behind the project and why the work is appropriate for the prize.
  • Email your submission for the prize to Kimberly Gerhart, administrative assistant to AFDS,


February 23, 2024

Allen Ballard '52 H'04

About Allen Ballard ’52 H’04

Kenyon alumnus Allen Ballard ’52 H’04 is an emeritus professor of history and Africana studies at the University at Albany, SUNY. He was one of the first two students to integrate Kenyon. President of the student body, Ballard graduated magna cum laude with a degree in political science and later earned his doctorate in government with a specialization in Soviet politics from Harvard. In the 1960s he designed a program to help desegregate the City College of New York, opening its doors to more Black and Puerto Rican students from surrounding neighborhoods. After joining the University at Albany, SUNY in 1986, Ballard taught Russian history, African American studies and civil rights, while being active in that university’s educational opportunity program.

Ballard has published two nonfiction books, “The Education of Black Folk: The Afro-American Struggle for Knowledge in White America” and “One More Day’s Journey: The Story of a Family and a People.” His works also include a novel about black soldiers in the Civil War, “Where I’m Bound” (2000), and “Carried by Six” (2009), a novel about African American families living in a Philadelphia housing project and their battles against a gang threatening to destroy them. 

Related Links

He Doesn’t Rest, Kenyon Alumni Magazine, Vol 42.3, Fall 2020

Singing the Unsung, Kenyon College Alumni Bulletin, Vol 23.1, 2001-2002

Allen Ballard K’52 (student history project)