For the second year in a row, Augustana College has received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.
This honor recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Open to all colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada, the award measures an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.
More than 300 institutions applied for the award. Augustana was one of the 90 to achieve it, and one of only four colleges in Illinois.
The Augustana Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is led by Dr. Monica Smith, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion.
"The fact that Augustana has won the HEED award two years in a row says a lot about what we're doing," she said. "And it means that our students are going to be prepared to address some of the world's toughest challenges, and be ready to offer solutions to some of the challenges that we have."
Most of the institutions receiving the HEED award are large universities, she said.
"Those larger schools have larger budgets and they have more people doing the work and I think this really says that it doesn't matter the size of the school. What really matters is the level of commitment," she said.
INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education and is well-known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award, the only award recognizing colleges and universities for diversity and inclusion efforts.
In addition to its online job board, INSIGHT Into Diversity presents news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion across higher education and beyond.
The Augustana Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has received a $17,000 grant from the Quad Cities Community Foundation.
The grant will be used to fund a series of community justice and peace conversations, including racial healing circles and a half-day workshop.
The circles are interactive skill-building sessions that engage participants in difficult conversations, personal and professional development, relationship building, and reflection. Participants leave each session with action items to implement in their communities.