Community leaders launch initiative to promote diversity through art, education

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This week marks the launch of Fort Bend County’s year-long “Diversity Over Division” initiative — an effort by local leaders to promote inclusiveness and social justice through art and education.

“Our goal is to celebrate our diversity,” said County Judge KP George, whose office spearheaded the initiative. “Fort Bend County is, if not the number one, then one of the most diverse counties in the country. We live in harmony.”

George made his remarks at a news conference at the University of Houston-Sugar Land. The initiative was launched in partnership with U of H, the Fort Bend County Libraries system and numerous community leaders.

“We’ve been in discussions about how UH can collaborate with the community,” said Jay Neal, associate vice president and chief operating officer for UH at Sugar Land. “Looking at the diversity of our student body, the diversity of our community fits hands in glove. It’s a national space for us to be in, we want the University of Houston to be the community’s university.”

Houston Poet Laureate Deborah D.E.E.P Mouton recited a poem at the news conference, choosing “Mother Emanuel,” which was written right after the Charleston church shooting in June 2015.

The initiative also includes the installation of a mural on the Albert and Mamie George Building at UH. Houston-based artist Reginald Adams will collaborate seven artists from seven different parts of the world, all residing in Houston, to create the mural.

“The actual artwork will not be completed until the end of the year,” Adams said. “The artists will represent India, Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Israel, Philippines and the United States.”

Diversity over Division started in August as a fundraising campaign to


Frontier Nursing University Receives INSIGHT Into Diversity Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award

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2020 Marks the Third Consecutive Year that FNU Receives HEED Award

Versailles, KY, Oct. 05, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Frontier Nursing University (FNU) received the 2020 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. This is the third consecutive year that FNU has received this prestigious award. 

As a recipient of the annual Health Professions HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — FNU will be featured, along with 45 other recipients, in the December 2020 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. 

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. 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.”

“Being selected as a recipient of the prestigious HEED Award for a third consecutive year is an incredible honor for Frontier Nursing University,” said FNU President Dr. Susan Stone. “Amidst the current social justice movement in our country, it is imperative that FNU serve as an agent for change. We know that culturally competent care improves health outcomes and begins with a more diverse healthcare system. We are proud to be taking a leadership role in this movement by educating an increasingly diverse student body, but fully recognize that we have much to


Bob Woodrick, West Michigan leader in diversity education, dies

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GRAND RAPIDS, MI — A man who dedicated much of his life in West Michigan to combating what he called “the disease of racism” has died.

Bob Woodrick died Friday, Oct. 2 at the age of 88, according to a news release from Grand Rapids Community College. He leaves behind a legacy of promoting community conversations and education surrounding the topic of racism, the release states.

GRCC’s Diversity Learning Center, founded in 2006, was renamed the Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Center for Equity and Inclusion in 2016 to celebrate the couple’s work both on and off campus.

As a professional, Woodrick began his career in the family business, D&W Food Centers in Grand Rapids, and worked there his entire life, leaving only for college and the military, the release states.

Woodrick, according to a 1993 Grand Rapids Press story, started working for his father at the age of 14 — just three years after the first D&W was opened in 1943 at the corner of Franklin Avenue and Chicago Drive SW in Grandville.

Over the course of his career, he served as president and CEO, as well as chairman of the board.

“Bob Woodrick understood West Michigan cannot not truly be successful until everyone has an opportunity to thrive,” GRCC President Bill Pink said in a statement.

“For decades, he opened eyes, changed minds and challenged people to take a look at themselves and their communities,” Pink said in the statement. “The world we are living in today shows us we have more work to do. Bob’s leadership helped ensure GRCC is a place where that work can and will continue.”

Through the Woodrick Center, GRCC and surrounding communities are provided with the opportunity to experience cultural competence by way of community partnerships, academic colloquium, youth conferences, student engagement initiatives