ECU’s focus on diversity garners 9th straight HEED Award


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) East Carolina University’s focus on diversity and inclusiveness has been recognized for the ninth consecutive year with the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award.

The HEED award, sponsored by Insight into Diversity magazine, recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The 2020 award winners were selected for initiatives that focus on all aspects of diversity including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community.

“ECU is deeply committed to equity, diversity and inclusion, and we are pleased that our intentional efforts are being recognized,” said LaKesha Alston Forbes, associate provost for equity and diversity and chief diversity officer at ECU. “Clearly, the data show our increasingly diverse university community. However, to simply celebrate these achievements without acknowledging that much more needs to be done would be disingenuous.”

The university hosts periodic Cupula Conversations that aim to create informal opportunities for the university community to engage in constructive dialogue about a range of diversity-related topics.

A series of three Cupula Conversations over the summer focused on systematic racism and inequity.

This fall, Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson will sponsor training for senior leaders across the university that will present a historical, cultural and structural analysis of racism.

Additionally, the chancellor will lead discussions to strategize around equity gaps in employee and student success. 

The university will be featured in the November issue of Insight into Diversity magazine.

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