Office of the Provost
ATLANTA—Georgia State University has received Insight Into Diversity’s 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Georgia State is one of the most diverse public universities in the United States, with a record of programs and initiatives that prove students from all backgrounds can succeed.
The university is implementing an ambitious plan to make further progress in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), following recommendations by its Task Force for Racial Equality last summer, and the implementation steering committee of the Next Generation of Faculty initiative.
“Georgia State is known as one of the most innovative universities in the country and seeks to become a national leader in all aspects of university life – including diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Wendy Hensel, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “While we have more work to do, we are honored to receive national recognition for our efforts and progress especially during the challenges of a pandemic and the national reckoning over racial injustice and inequality.”
Highlights of accomplishments over the past academic year include:
- The university’s Diversity’s Dialogues Series, a program of conversations about DEI issues, including conversations among university administration, faculty, staff and students about the campus climate, in addition to policing, the future of Atlanta and other topics;
- The new Center for Studies on Africa and Its Diaspora , which supports research and academic initiatives, artistic efforts and public programming, including exhibits, lectures and conferences, and advance policy proposals that target issues of concern to the African diaspora across the university and the broader community.
- Continued growth of the Center for the Advancement of Students and Alumni, an effort to encourage promising undergraduates from underrepresented minority backgrounds to pursue graduate and professional degree programs;
- Expansion of training programs and resources for DEI issues, including a centralized website providing university-wide DEI information, including a database of DEI programs and initiatives, event calendars, and a searchable library of books, policies, multimedia, procedures and other resources;
- Diverse Faculty Alliance (DFA) & Faculty affinity groups, bringing together faculty from similar backgrounds to network, share and collaborate.
To read additional highlights, visit https://dei.gsu.edu/action-plan/ to access a progress report and to learn more about Georgia State’s DEI plan.
“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,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.
“We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”
Insight Into Diversity magazine is the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education and is well known for its annual HEED Award, the only award recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses.
For more about diversity, equity and inclusion at Georgia State, visit https://dei.gsu.edu.