SIUE Receives IDHR Human Rights Day Award

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Venessa BrownThe Illinois Department of Human Rights recognized Southern Illinois University Edwardsville among six recipients of its Human Rights Day Award today at Harold Washington College in Chicago. Honorees were selected based upon their organizational work helping to affirm the values of fairness, equality and non-discrimination.

SIUE was selected for its inaugural Diversity Day event on Tuesday, Oct. 16, which was organized by Venessa A. Brown, PhD, associate chancellor for diversity and inclusion, and chief diversity officer. The Diversity Day theme was “From Awareness to Action, SIUE Shaping a Changing World.” Olympic legend and gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee kicked off the event with community stakeholders the previous evening.

“This award recognizes SIUE’s exemplary support for the IDHR Fairness and Equality Campaign through its extraordinary efforts in promoting inclusion, equality, and respect by issuing a municipal proclamation, engaging the public through social media, and joining forces with the City of Edwardsville to host a successful first-ever Diversity Day celebration,” said IDHR Director Janice Glenn. “It is our hope that you and the other honorees will be inspired to continue to work together to tackle and resolve pressing issues related to inequality through additional partnerships and creative solutions.”

“We are creating a new tomorrow with SIUE’s Diversity Day as people have the opportunity to gain new knowledge, have open dialogue, meet someone new, and embrace the concept of what diversity and inclusion means at SIUE,” Brown said. “Planning has already begun for Diversity Day on Oct. 15, 2019.”

Hundreds of students, faculty, staff and community members of varying ethnicities, ideologies, gender identification and sexual orientation took part in Diversity Day activities that encompassed the Edwardsville, East St. Louis and Alton campuses.  The daylong event was educational, motivational, challenging and fun. It was jam-packed with speakers from the Metro East, dance, art, presentations, posters and cuisine representing varying ethnic roots. The Diversity Day committee also presented SIUE’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan.

As Illinois is celebrating its 200th birthday, the IDHR is celebrating by organizing several public events throughout the year that help create awareness about the protections offered under the Illinois Human Rights Act.