Diversity Leadership Council adds faculty category to Diversity Leadership Awards

Nominations accepted now through Nov. 14 for UChicago diversity honor

University Communications

The University of Chicago’s Diversity Leadership Council is seeking nominations for the Diversity Leadership Awards it presents during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in January. Since 2009 a member of the UChicago alumni community and the UChicago staff have received the award. This year, the DLC is adding a new Diversity Leadership Award to honor a member of the faculty.

“For many years, a number of University of Chicago faculty members have worked hard to promote the ideals of diversity, inclusion and equality on our campus, whether it came in the form of service to disadvantaged communities, building the pipeline of potential students or working to diversify our faculty ranks,” said William McDade, deputy provost for research and minority issues, and co-chair of the Diversity Leadership Council.

“Adding a faculty category to our Diversity Leadership Awards provides an opportunity to recognize those longstanding faculty champions who are committed to diversity issues,” said McDade.  

McDade noted that the faculty award will recognize those who foster a diverse and inclusive environment both on and off the UChicago campus. “The award will honor those who believe in these values and see them as an important goal worthy of considerable time and effort.”

Past Diversity Leadership Award recipients

The accomplishments of the past award recipients vary in many ways, but all of the Diversity Leadership Award winners have enriched others’ lives and empowered people to envision success and reach their potential.   

Last year, President Robert J. Zimmer bestowed awards on alumna Aida Giachello and two staff members, Kathleen Forde and Theaster Gates, who were selected in a tie for the staff honor. Each of the 2014 recipients credited the power of community building for helping them achieve their goals.

Giachello, AM’71, PhD’88, contributes to the field of public health research and has been instrumental in leading the formation of numerous local, regional and national health and human services organizations. Forde created a groundbreaking mentoring program to help students overcome career obstacles related to sexual orientation. Gates, professor in Visual Arts and the College and director of Arts and Public Life, continues to foster collaboration between the University and its neighbors on the South Side through cultural and artistic endeavors.

Nominate your diversity heroes

McDade, associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care, and associate dean for multicultural affairs at the Pritzker School of Medicine, and co-chair Sonya Malunda, senior associate vice president for community engagement, encourage students, faculty, staff and alumni to nominate someone who has shown devotion to the principles of diversity, inclusion, equality and justice.

“The University’s Diversity Leadership Council created these awards to thank the people of our community who challenge the status quo, and who think critically and creatively about how to bring about change where it’s needed and opportunity for everyone.

“With each new year that we honor the top diversity leaders from within our community, we hope that their dedication to lifting up others will be emulated by a younger generation, who in turn will pass on those same principles to the next generation.” 

The Diversity Leadership Council is a group of senior administrators from a broad cross-section of the University. Formed by President Robert J. Zimmer in 2007, the council gives the awards annually.

All UChicago community members may submit nominations for the University's 2015 Diversity Leadership Awards. A nomination form may be completed through the Nov. 14 deadline.

President Zimmer and the DLC will present the 2015 Diversity Leadership Awards to the recipients on Jan. 15, 2015, in conjunction with the annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. Descriptions of the award and the nomination process are provided on the Diversity and Inclusion website.