UMTC is a Five-Time Recipient of the HEED Award

Insight Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award: The only national higher education diversity award

For the fifth consecutive year, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities (UMTC) has received the 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — UMTC will be featured, along with 82 other recipients, in the November 2016 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“It’s an incredible honor to be one of a small number of institutions across the nation to receive this award five times in a row,” said Dr. Katrice Albert, vice president for Equity and Diversity. “The HEED Award has become one of the many ways we can benchmark our ongoing efforts to advance our most ambitious equity and diversity goals.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected the University of Minnesota based on the institution’s exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives that focus on all aspects of diversity, including gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, veteran status, ability, and sexual orientation, as well as many other identities. Award recipients for 2016 include community colleges, public and private schools, baccalaureate-granting institutions, graduate schools, and one school system.

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” says Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “While we look at numbers and expect continued improvement for those schools that receive the HEED Award year after year, we also use a holistic approach in reviewing each application. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus.”

For more information about the 2016 HEED award, visit

[Photo credit: Insight Into Diversity magazine, 2016]

OED Awards – Call for Nominations

Office for Equity and Diversity Call for Award Nominations

Each year, the Office for Equity and Diversity (OED) sponsors numerous awards in support of equity and diversity work and achievements at the University of Minnesota. OED invites you to consider two such awards that recognize the excellent work underway at the University being done in these areas.

Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award 

The award honors faculty, staff and students who, through their work at the University or their community, exemplify Dr. Johnson’s standard of excellence in creating respectful and inclusive living, learning, and working environments and who demonstrate unusual commitment and passion in the areas of human rights and social justice. The award is given to two individuals each year – one current faculty or staff member and one current undergraduate or graduate student. Nominations are due on September 9, 2016. For a full description of the nomination guidelines and procedures, please visit:

Outstanding Unit Award for Equity and Diversity 

The Office for Equity and Diversity presents an annual Outstanding Unit Award for Equity and Diversity to a University of Minnesota campus, college, department or unit. The award is presented at the Equity and Diversity Breakfast each November and honors transformational equity and diversity work that both demonstrates outstanding leadership in equity and diversity and is collaborative, sustainable, and linked to the stated mission and vision of the group. Applications are due on September 9, 2016. For a full description of the application guidelines and procedures, please visit:

2016 Equity and Diversity Transformation Award Recipients

People walking throughout the University of Minnesota Twin Cities mall area

Established by the Office for Equity and Diversity, the University of Minnesota’s Equity and Diversity Transformation Awards seek to infuse equity and diversity into every aspect of the University’s teaching, learning, research, service and outreach by funding creative yet pragmatic proposals for projects that support equity and diversity initiatives.

The focus for the 2016 awards is building capacity for institutional change through the use of strategic partnerships. Partnerships must go beyond financial assistance/sponsorship and efforts must exemplify working in collaboration in one or more of the following ways:

  • Internal: partnership of two or more units/offices within a larger department or college OR partnership of two or more units/offices across various departments or colleges.
  • External: partnership of one or more units/departments with one or more external stakeholders (community organizations, corporations, etc.).

Congratulations to the following recipients of the 2016 Equity and Diversity Transformation Award:

Boynton LGBTQIA Assessment
Boynton Health Services, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

This project is an audit of Boynton Health current practices and infrastructure. The goal of the project is to determine opportunities to improve services and follow best practices for serving the LGBTQIA community at the University of Minnesota. The project will result in a written report of findings, as well as presentations to Office for Equity and Diversity and Office for Student Affairs leadership and Boynton Health staff.

Centering Race and Racial Equity in Service-Learning
Center for Community Engaged Learning, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

This award would provide foundational support to help us investigate how issues of race, racism and racial equity are currently addressed in U of MN service-learning classes and to identify gaps as well as strengths we can build on in future efforts to better support faculty in this work.

Equity and Diversity in Latin America and Spain: Art, Lecture, and Film Series
Departments of Foreign Languages and Literatures & Art and Design, University of Minnesota Duluth

Equity and Diversity in Latin America and Spain: Art, Lecture, and Film Series, which will take place in Spring 2017, creates a strategic partnership between faculty members that research and teach in areas of equity and diversity in Hispanic and Latin American studies at University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) across collegiate units and departments. The series will attract a wide audience of UMD students, staff, and faculty, as well as Twin Ports community members. It includes 1) an art exhibition; 2) five scholarly presentations by UMD faculty; and 3) the presentation, showing, and discussion of two films at the local Arts and Community movie theater in Duluth (Zinema).

Medicinal Plants in Minnesota: Native American Perspectives
Department of Plant Biology, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

We are hosting a multicultural exhibit on medicinal plants at the Northrop Gallery during the 2017 year in conjunction with a round-robin gallery tour that will incorporate local artists, indigenous, and immigrant views of medicinal plants at museums across the Twin Cities area. This project will integrate research strengths of the University of Minnesota from departments as diverse as medicine, anthropology, and business with the knowledge and expertise of local community members to forge connections between the University and the larger community around plants, health, and wellness.

Supporting Students of Color/International Students and Enhancing Cultural Diversity and Inclusivity: A Collaborative Project
Employees of Color Mentoring Program, University of Minnesota Duluth

This project is a series of planned activities which objectives are to connect international students and students of color to employees of color (EOC), communities of color and communities of other nationalities for increased social support and mentoring; to facilitate the exposure of international student to the rich US culture and thus enhance social interaction/inclusion; and to showcase the benefits of cultural diversity on the UMD campus. These activities include a meet-and- greet at the beginning of each semester, involvement of EOC in mentoring dyads/triads for SOC/international students, excursions to historical and US traditional places and events, and hosting student panels.

Teaching Issues of Social Justice in an Interdependent World
Institute for Global Studies, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Members of the UMN Providers of Professional Development network group will work together with the regional group Youthrive, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Title III schools through the Minnesota Department of Education, and other area nonprofits such as the Islamic Resource Group, and the Somali American Parent Association to plan and offer a two day professional development workshop for twenty-five licensed K-12 educators (who each teach 25-125 students per year) on Teaching Issues of Social Justice in an Interdependent World. Following the workshop, a Google site with curriculum resources and links to teaching social justice at the K-12 level will be created.

BCED’s Public-Private-Nonprofit Workforce Development Partnership

Representatives from University of Minnesota, McGough Construction and Minneapolis Urban League

The Office for Business & Community Economic Development (BCED) Technology Empowerment Center (TEC), which is located in the Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (2001 Plymouth Ave. N., Minneapolis), focuses on closing the digital gap by providing access to computer technology and relevant software training by using content aimed at serving nonprofits, small businesses and vulnerable populations.

In an attempt to meet the growing needs and technology challenges of our urban market BCED has embarked into a new public-private-nonprofit partnership.

With the increased demand, BCED is partnering with McGough Construction to build additional lab spaces at the Minneapolis Urban League (2100 Plymouth Ave N., Minneapolis) to house the 8-week pilot program for the CompTIA A+ Certification Program for 20 students from the Twin Cities area, which is set to begin in August. This program is a benchmark for individuals seeking to enter the workforce and have an interest in the IT field and will develop an individual’s ability to perform essential IT tasks such as installation, configuration, diagnosing, preventative maintenance, basic networking and security. The new facility will include 2 computer labs and an office reception area.

The Technology Empowerment Center’s goals include but are not limited to:

  1. Providing a professional training environment for community members to continue developing and enhancing their technology skills beyond the basics in order to compete in the global workforce.
  2. Refurbishing and distributing computers to low-income communities, individuals and community organizations.
  3. Providing over 20 different computer classes (beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels) to community residents and small business owners. Upon completion of the classes and paying a small fee, residents and business owners who qualify can take home a computer loaded with the latest software.

For more information about TEC Programs, contact Michael Aganmayo at 612-624-3704.

Pictured above is a photo of representatives from the public sector (University of Minnesota), private sector (McGough Construction), and nonprofit sector (Minneapolis Urban League) during today’s final pre-construction meeting.

2016 Multicultural Research Award Recipients

2016 Multicultural Research Award Recipients

The Multicultural Research Award (MRA) funds research that addresses issues related to the mission of the Institute on Diversity, Equity and Advocacy (IDEA): “to transform the University by enhancing the visibility and advancing the productivity of an interdisciplinary group of faculty and community scholars whose expertise in equity, diversity, and underrepresented populations will lead to innovative scholarship and teaching that addresses urgent social issues.”

Since it’s inception in 1996, the MRA has awarded over 1.5 million dollars to more than 152 UMN faculty from at least 45 different disciplines working in equity and diversity research.

Award recipients are required to present their work as part of the Diversity through the Disciplines Symposia sponsored throughout the academic year. Awardees are also encouraged to showcase their research at the Gallery of Excellence, a showcase of equity and diversity research preceding the annual Equity and Diversity Breakfast.

Congratulations to the following faculty – as our 2016 MRA award recipients:

Assistant Professor Hector Fernando Burga, Master of Urban and Regional Planning, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
Planning the Latino Immigrant City in Minnesota

Assistant Professor Jennifer Gomez Menjivar, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, College of Liberal Arts
Black in Print: Fictions, Discourses and the Politics of Seeing Blackness in Latin America

Associate Professor Zenzele Isoke, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, College of Liberal Arts
Black Women and the Art of Political Resistance in the Twin Cities

Assistant Professor Derek Jennings, Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Gimaajii Mino-Bimaadizimin Children’s Program

Assistant Professor Christopher Johnstone, Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, College of Education & Human Development
Accessibility, Inclusion, and Identity in Study Abroad

Associate Professor Muhammad Khalifa, Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), College of Education & Human Development Understanding Indigenous Culturally Responsive Leadership: Strategies for Improving Schools

Assistant Professor Melissa Lewis, Biobehavioral Health & Population Sciences, Medical School
First-Year Medical Students Learning and Personal Growth following Indigenous Health Lectures

Associate Professor J.B. Mayo, Jr., Curriculum & Instruction, College of Education & Human Development
Uncovering Queer Spaces during the Harlem Renaissance

Assistant Professor Cristina Ortiz, Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts
Rural Community Identities in a Context of Transnational Immigration

Assistant Professor Lena Palacios, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies and Chicano and Latino Studies, College of Liberal Arts
Transforming Justice: Formerly Incarcerated Women Engaging in Anti-violence Activism through Participatory Video

Assistant Professor Punti, Civic Engagement Education,  Associate Professor Teresa Swartz, Sociology and Asian American Studies, College of Liberal Arts
Not Just Child’s Play: How Parents and Kids of Diverse and Under-Represented Backgrounds Understand, Access, and Experience Youth Activities

Assistant Professor Shannon Walsh, Political Science, College of Liberal Arts
Engendering State Institutions: State Response to Violence against Women in Latin America