Call for Nominations: 2015 Lillian H. Williams Award

Yellow and Purple Tulips

The Office for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) invites nominees for the Lillian H. Williams Award. This award is named in honor of Lillian H. Williams, the founding director of the University of Minnesota’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, and was established in 1986 to recognize individuals and units within the University community who exemplify Ms. William’s spirit and commitment to equal opportunity and affirmative action. Ms. Williams served as the director from 1972 until her death in 1984. She has been described as a “natural negotiator, creative strategist, and idealistic, yet pragmatic agent for change.” She developed a national presence as one of the founding organizers of the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA). One of her greatest challenges during her time at the University was responding to and testifying in the Rajender trial, a class action discrimination lawsuit brought by a group of women at the University in 1979.

EOAA is seeking individuals and units that have shown their commitment through the education of the community on issues and topics related to equity, diversity and the struggle against discrimination and harassment. In addition, EOAA is seeking individuals and units that can show deep involvement in an initiative that supports EOAA’s goal of promoting a University culture where students, staff and faculty succeed professionally and thrive educationally.

Please provide a one-page nomination of an individual or unit for this important award to Nancy Xiong ( in the Office for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action by September 16, 2015. EOAA staff will review the nominations and select an award recipient. Please describe how the nominee’s work is consistent with the qualities described above.

The recipient of the award will be announced at the EOAA 2015 Fall Liaison Conference on October 30, 2015. In addition, the recipient’s name will be engraved on a plaque and posted in the EOAA Office with the names of past award recipients.

[Photo credit: Patrick O’Leary]


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