2nd Annual MLK Awards Help Build An Inclusive Future

When the DEI Office instituted the MLK Awards this event last year, we did so with the vision of expanding the event to include student voices who otherwise would not choose to participate in conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion at Drew University.

120 people participated in our inaugural event and this year as we continue to build our vision, we were pleased to welcome 260 including 150 first-year students and an entire athletics team!  For many Drew students, this was their first experience –away from the comfort of family and friends at home– when they explored their identity and that of others in meaningful ways. This will carry on into their classroom experience this coming week with a class session on equity and inclusion, as well as on learning how to communicate respectfully when engaging with diverse constituents (i.e., LARA method). Our next steps will include activating the eight Launch Identity/Affinity Communities with feedback from last night’s event, to identify concrete ways in which we all can positively impact cultural development at Drew University.  We are already working on a larger venue and improved registration process to make sure event participants come prepared and are ready for a great experience connecting with student peers, faculty, staff, alums, administrators, and community members from the onset of their affiliation to this annual event at Drew University.

To our event participants we say thank you and feel privileged to witness your leadership skills in action. You are leading an entire campus toward considering the richness that comes from our diversity. You are leading the conversations to explore why equity and inclusion must guide our every effort, especially as we experience national and world-wide cultural changes that threaten our emotional, psychological, and physical well being as individuals and as people; changes that in some cases, threaten our very survival.  The DEI Office’s inaugural efforts to positively impact cultural development at Drew University, now in close collaboration with the Launch Center, are producing consistent, measurable, meaningful, and rapidly growing results, in many ways thanks to your leadership and commitment.

For anyone who was unable to participate in the event, these links tell more of the story.

We welcome all community members to participate in the 3rd Annual MLK Awards, next year!

Posted by Sari Pascoe
Sari Pascoe Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Sari Pascoe