September 18, 2018

FSU honored for diversity, inclusion efforts

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Framingham State University's May Hall.

Framingham State University is one of 96 colleges and universities in the country to be recognized by a high education magazine for its efforts to support diversity and inclusion.

The school received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity, or HEED, Award, given by INSIGHT into Diversity, a higher education diversity magazine and website.

Framingham State has received the award three previous times beginning in 2014, more than any other public university in the state.

In its announcement of the award, Framingham State noted that the distinction comes shortly after a resident hall at the school was vandalized with racist graffiti.

"This award demonstrates that the hateful actions of a few people cannot define our community," President F. Javier Cevallos said in a press release. "The dialogue and self-reelection that has occurred on our campus over the past year has been inspiring and I'm proud of the comprehensive approach we have taken as we continually strive for excellence in institutional diversity and inclusion."

The school's diversity and inclusion efforts are led by the Office of Diversity and Engagement, but several clubs on the student level seek to achieve similar goals. Those groups include the Black Student Union, Brother2Brother and M.I.S.S.

The school also holds the Olivia A. Davison Voices of Color Lecture Series and other programs.

For school employees, the university has launched employee affinity groups recently, including Faculty and Staff of Color, Faculty and Staff with Disabilities, Women Empowerment and LGBTQ Faculty and Staff.

"It's so important to keep an open and ongoing dialogue about these issues," said Millie Gonzalez, the university's chief diversity officer. "We can learn so much from one another simply by engaging in these challenging conversations."

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