Suffolk Receives National Diversity Award

The award recognizes Suffolk’s comprehensive campus commitment to diversity and inclusion

Portrait of Joyya Smith, Suffolk University vice president for diversity, access, and inclusion

Joyya P. Smith, Suffolk University vice president of Diversity, Access, & Inclusion

Suffolk University has been honored with a 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award by INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

This is a national award recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Institutions are evaluated on their policies and best practices for the recruitment and retention of a diverse student body and workforce. The award also recognizes administrative leadership support for diversity and for creating an inclusive campus environment. 

“With the implementation of signature Suffolk Initiatives such as RAM Inclusion Week, our Ambassadors for Inclusion Professional Learning Community, Equity in the Curriculum Workshop Series, student focus groups, Rx Racial Healing Circles, and Affinity@Suffolk employee resource groups, we have made significant strides in our efforts to advance inclusion,” said Joyya P. Smith, Suffolk’s vice president of Diversity, Access, & Inclusion.

“Thanks to the contributions of our faculty and staff, who are committed to advancing DEI throughout our community, the momentum to reach our strategic goals is growing,” she said.

Kelly: This Work Is ‘Central’ to Suffolk’s Mission

Suffolk joins a list of distinguished colleges and universities this year, including Rice, Swarthmore, William & Mary, Northwestern, Case Western Reserve, Clemson, Rochester Institute of Technology, Mount Holyoke, Lehigh, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and others.

Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, said, “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.”

President Marisa Kelly said she was “thrilled and humbled that our work has been recognized by the HEED Award selection committee. JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) is central to Suffolk’s mission, and is a critical component of the Suffolk 2025 strategic plan. We, as a University, must play a vital role in creating a more equitable and just society.”

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