Beverly J. Warren Unity Award for Diversity Hall of Fame

2020 Beverly J. Warren Unity Award Recipient, The Fashion School's New York City Studio

2020 Unity Award Recipient, KSU Fashion School NYC StudioThis year’s Beverly J. Warren Unity Award for Diversity was presented to the Fashion School’s NYC Studio.

The Fashion School’s NYC Studio was given the award in recognition of its recent development and implementation of an innovative Fashion Industry Diversity Panel series. Top industry leaders are invited to come to Kent State to discuss important topics with students related to diversity, equity and inclusion specific to the fashion industry.

“The NYC Studio leadership team is fully committed to creating an inclusive space for dialogue, learning and engagement among students, alumni and industry professionals on these important real-world topics,” said award-nominator Brittani Peterson, marketing associate for the Fashion School and the Kent State University Museum.

Learn more about the NYC Studio

2019 Beverly J. Warren Unity Award Recipients, Department of Pan-African Studies and Black United Students

This year’s Unity Award for Diversity was presented to two organizations. The award recognizes any Kent State unit that demonstrates significant contributions in the areas of diversity, equity or inclusion, 

Beverly Warren presents Amoaba Gooden with 2019 Unity AwardThe Department of Pan-African Studies was given the award in recognition of its standing as the first full academic department in Northeast Ohio established to teach and conduct research on critical issues facing Native American peoples, Latino/Latina Americans and peoples of African descent. 

Black United Students (BUS), founded in 1968, shared the award for having served as a vehicle to fulfill a sense of belonging among African-American students. As Kent State’s oldest student organization, BUS is credited with the implementation of the Department of Pan-African Studies and the Institute for African American Affairs, among other major program and initiatives. “Over the years, Black United Students has remained true to its founding goals of unity, advancement and education while continuously evolving,” said Dana Lawless-Andric, associate vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, who nominated the organization for the Unity Award for Diversity.

2018 Unity Award Recipient, College of Communication and Information

Kent State’s College of Communication and Information was recognized with the 2018 Unity Award for Diversity for implementing a variety of diversity courses as part of its curriculum, creating successful diversity programs, and dedicating faculty and staff to diversity initiatives within the college and the university. 

Vice President Alfreda Brown (left) and Dana Lawless-Andric (right) present the 2018 Unity Award for Diversity to Amy Reynolds, Ph.D., Dean of College of Communications and Information.The College of Communication and Information was one of the first colleges to create a full-time academic diversity outreach position. It also was the first college to work collaboratively with the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to use the University Diversity Action Council (UDAC) Diversity Toolkit to develop a college-wide diversity curriculum for First-Year Experience courses. Amy Reynolds, Ph.D., dean of the College of Communication and Information, who accepted the award on behalf of the college, said these and other efforts have resulted in measurable student success. Dr. Reynolds said the college’s advising team, in collaboration with its academic outreach coordinator, conducts strategic outreach throughout the year, which has led to one of the highest underrepresented student retention rates on campus.

2017 Unity Award Recipient, Division of Information Services

The Unity Award for Diversity, which honors a Kent State unit for its commitment to implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives, was awarded to the Division of Information Services (IS).

Dr. Brown presents Dr. Mahon with Unity AwardEdward G. Mahon, vice president for information services and chief information officer, accepted the award on behalf of the Division of Information Services, which has been recognized nationally for its work in developing award-winning best practices in supplier diversity strategies and initiatives. “This award has been received with deep appreciation,” Mahon said. “It really speaks to our core in terms of who we try to be as people. And it reflects the heartfelt work we do throughout the year.”

That work includes partnering with Kent State’s Procurement Department to expand technology expenditures to minority-owned companies. The division also works with the Division of Human Resources to expand its applicant pool by participating jointly in job fairs. Diversity is further cultivated within the division itself through the IS Listening Project, a partnership with the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in which members of the Division of Information Services are brought together to discuss matters of diversity.

2016 Unity Award Recipient, Wick Poetry Center

The Kent State Wick Poetry Center’s embodiment of the spirit of unity at the university earned it the Unity Award for Diversity.“The center makes an impact at multiple levels at our university, and its message of understanding and inclusion is present in all of its activities,” Good said. “Additionally, the center works extensively outside the university to use the power of poetry in multiple venues. Its impact has been felt in its work with elementary schools and with veterans.”

Wick Poetry CenterKent State’s Wick Poetry Center was established in 1984 by Robert Wick, a sculptor and former Kent State art faculty member, and his brother Walter Wick, in memory of their sons Stan (1962–1980) and Tom (1956–1973) Wick.

“I am honored that the Wick Poetry Center has received this year’s Unity Award for Diversity,” said David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center.  “At the core of our programming and outreach is the belief that poetry is a powerful tool to help us write across the borders of our lives and make meaningful connections with each other. This award is a testament to the commitment and passion of the Wick Poetry Center staff and the many Kent State students who assist in our community outreach.” 

Origins of Unity in Diversity Award

This award was established by the Diversity Honors and Awards Selection Panel, a subcommittee of the University Diversity Action Council. A special thank you to the following KSU faculty and staff members for their work in creating, developing, and implementing this award: Jacqueline Gee; Curtis Good; Rozell Duncan; Marlo Kibler; Shana Lee; Sandra Montgomery; Michquel Penn; and Carmen Frank Roberts.