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Dear Faculty and Staff,

Each year, we select one person on campus for the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award and one program and/or department for the University Initiative Impact Award.  The Excellence in DI Award is for an employee (faculty or staff) and the Impact Award is for any department/division, administrative unit, or officially recognized organization at The W that best exemplifies excellence through efforts to enhance diversity, promote cultural diversity and cultivate an inclusive campus community in teaching, service or leadership.

The Council for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is currently taking nominations for both the individual Excellence award and the Impact award.

Our goal is to highlight the positive contributions that are being made to our campus and the state through advancing diversity and inclusion.  To assist you in making nominations please consider the definitions of Diversity and Inclusion, as adopted from the Association of American Colleges and Universities.


DIVERSITY is defined as valuing individual differences (e.g. personality, prior knowledge, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g. race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious and other affiliations) and engagement of differences to achieve excellence in teaching, learning, research, scholarship and administrative and support services.

INCLUSION is defined as the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity - in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities with which individuals might connect - in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.

Nominations should be sent to Leigh Yarborough, President's Office, W-Box 1600 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5:00 p.m. this Friday, November 20, 2020.

To nominate an individual for the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award, send a nomination letter that includes the individual's contributions to the positive advancement of diversity and inclusion on our campus and/or within the university community, local community and state.  Examples of positive contributions should include, but are not limited to, are:
1.    Demonstrating a consistent pattern of diversity and inclusion activities that promote recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations;
2.    Exhibiting visionary and insightful leadership to cultivate and promote diversity and inclusion initiatives that confront and resolve inequities through strategic decision-making, and establishment of priorities that foster a more inclusive and equitable learning environment;
3.    Demonstrating efforts of encouraging students of historically underrepresented and diverse populations to participate actively in campus life and activities;
4.    Exhibiting new and progressive best practices that support diversity and inclusion goals through the use of technology and innovative approaches;
5.    Contributing to curriculum planning and implementation that is more inclusive of the needs and interests of underrepresented populations on campus; and/or
6.    Participating in civic and community organizations, particularly in relation to diversity.

*Please note that Individuals who are employed as diversity officers on university campuses or any other position that directly involves promoting diversity are not eligible to be recognized by IHL and are therefore cannot be nominate for the campus Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award.

To nominate a unit for the Impact Initiative Award, follow the instructions on the nomination form found at https://www.muw.edu/impactaward

In addition to being recognized at Spring Convocation and our Annual Diversity and Inclusion Luncheon in January 2021, the recipient of the individual award will be recognized by IHL at the IHL Board Meeting on February 20, 2020.  The campus unit selected for the Impact Award will also receive recognition at Spring Convocation and our Annual Diversity and Inclusion Luncheon along with a $1,000 stipend to the unit to sustain their initiative.

I appreciate all of your efforts to foster a welcoming, diverse and inclusive campus, and I look forward to your nominations.

Nora R. Miller, President

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University Relations

1100 College Street
Columbus, MS 39701

Stovall House
Phone: (662) 329-7119
Fax: (662) 329-7123