GV recognized with national HEED award for diversity and inclusion


Courtesy / GVSU

Trevor Hubert, Staff Reporter

For the second year in a row and the third time in school history, Grand Valley State University is a recipient of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award along with 89 other colleges and universities. The award is given out yearly by Insight to Diversity, the largest diversity publication for higher education in the country.

According to their website, the mission of Insight to Diversity is to “advance the national conversation about diversity and inclusion through thought-provoking articles on current trends and relevant news.” They are also committed to improving and promoting diverse cultures of college campuses.

“We hope to engage readers with the goal of achieving a more inclusive culture on both academic and corporate campuses,” the website reads.

In response to the social justice movement taking place around the country, GVSU President Philomena Mantella has worked with the university’s Division of Inclusion and Equity to create a plan and propose steps to make the university a more inclusive university for students and faculty alike.

One of these proposed steps includes a commitment to getting more staff and students of color to come to GVSU, including the development of a new enrollment management plan with the ultimate goal of removing all equity gaps.

In addition to making GVSU a more inclusive and equal community, the steps also lay out a plan for ramping up safety on campus. These steps include establishing a Grand Valley Campus Safety task force, as well as adding requirements to teach inclusion and de-escalation at the GVSU Police Academy.

The university is also looking to expand its reach into the community with these steps. GVSU has committed to providing support for the city of Grand Rapids’ GRow1000 program, which plans to help provide employment to at least 1,000 Grand Rapids youth.

Although the timeline for implementing these steps is unclear, having a plan in place is the first big step for Grand Valley in this process, and receiving the HEED award reiterates the school’s commitment to ending racism on campus.

“The well-being of our entire community rests on fulfilling the elemental promise that every member of our campus community is welcomed, supported, respected, and valued,” President Mantella wrote in an open letter to the GVSU community back in June. “I welcome your input to this agenda of action; listening never stops”.