Thursday, May 30, 2019

American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity Announces
The 2019 Honorees for its Annual Awards Ceremony
Icons of equal opportunity, affirmative action and diversity in higher education, disability rights, government and private industry are among the award recipients at the Association’s 45th National Conference and Annual Meeting in Indianapolis on June 12th

For Immediate Release: April 15, 2019
Contact:  Shirley J. Wilcher 240-893-9475 

Washington, DC, April 15, 2019 - The American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED), an organization of equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action professionals, announced its ten award honorees for 2019.  The awards celebration will be held on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, during the AAAED’s 45th National Conference and Annual Meeting. Themed Moving Beyond Diversity Towards Equity and Inclusion, the meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis.  The Hyatt is located at One South Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204.  The awards program is open to the press.  “We are delighted to honor such outstanding icons of social justice, diversity and equal opportunity,” said Dr. Richard Anthony Baker, president of AAAED.

Drum Major for Justice Award
The Drum Major for Justice is the highest award the association confers. The Award is a special acknowledgement of the extraordinary contributions that an organization or individual, including a public servant or one who has held an elective office or appointment to public service, has made to the cause of access, equity and diversity. Previous recipients include Rev. Dr. CT Vivian (2018), Dr. Shirley A Jackson (2017) Rep. G. K. Butterfield (2016), and Representatives August F. Hawkins and Parren Mitchell (deceased) (2008).

The 2019 AAAED Drum Major for Justice Award Honoree is The Honorable Gregory W. Porter, State Representative, State of Indiana. Gregory W. Porter is a member of the 120th Indiana General Assembly. He is now serving his 13th term for the 96th House District in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is currently ranking minority member of the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee, and president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL).  Mr. Porter also holds the position of Sr. Vice President of External Affairs for the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County. As Sr. Vice-President of External Affairs, Porter advises the president on strategies from communicating to and involving the community at large within the corporation’s goals, facilitates relationships between the corporation and external stakeholders, and acts in the capacity of a community liaison.  Mr. Porter has received numerous awards not limited to but including the 2018 Dr. Mozel Sanders Drum Major for Political and Social Justice, NAACP 2015 Pathfinder Award, Martin Center Distinguished Sickle Cell Champion Award, Indianapolis Urban League – 2015 Servant Leadership Legacy Award, Prevent Child Abuse of Indiana Leadership Award, and the Indiana Early Care Education Legislative Award.  He also received the Black Caucus of State Legislators Award, plus an Eagle Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.

Arthur A. Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award
Named for the “Father of Affirmative Action,” former Assistant Secretary of Labor Arthur A. Fletcher, who established the Revised Philadelphia Plan requiring goals and timetables in the construction industry - the precursor for what became “Affirmative Action,” the Arthur A. Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a career devoted to promoting and advocating for affirmative action, EEO and diversity. 

The 2019 AAAED Arthur A. Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree is Marshall Rose, M.S.W.  Marshall Rose has been a member of the American Association for Affirmative Action, re-named the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED), since the early 2000’s. He served as President of the association from 2014-2016, and previously, was a member of the AAAED board as Region V Director.  Marshall also served on the board of United for Equality and Affirmative Action Legal Defense Fund (UEAA-LDF).  Marshall Rose has been an untiring advocate of affirmative action and equal opportunity throughout his entire career. Marshall held senior responsibility for monitoring diversity and AA/EEO compliance at Bowling Green State University and Central Michigan University.  He retired from BGSU in January 2011. Marshall has done numerous presentations and speeches on diversity, affirmative action, EEO and associated topics. He has also done training for educational, nonprofit and private industry organizations. Marshall has received a number of honors in recognition of his community and professional contributions. They include: Volunteer of the Year from the Toledo Chapter of the Association of Fund Raising Professionals, Impact Newsmaker Award from the Northwest Ohio Black Media Association, 2010 Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth Humanitarian Award from the State-of-the-State Conference, and the 2012 President's Award from the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity.

Cesar Estrada Chavez Award
The award is named for Cesar Estrada Chavez, an American labor leader and civil rights activist who, along with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers union, UFW) in 1962.  The Cesar Estrada Chavez Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated leadership in support of workers' rights and humanitarian issues.

The 2019 AAAED Cesar Estrada Chavez Award Honoree is Dr. Tomás D. Morales, President, California State University, San Bernardino.  Dr. Tomás D. Morales was selected as the president of California State University, San Bernardino in May 2012. He is the university's fourth president since it opened in 1965.  His commitment to student success has led to various innovatory summer bridge and orientation programs for area students.  In addition, he has spearheaded the first truly bi-county initiative to address education and career preparedness beginning with K-12 through baccalaureate degree attainment. This effort resulted in a successful $5 million California Governor’s Innovation Award. Previously, Dr. Morales was president of the College of Staten Island, The City University of New York (CUNY), since 2007.

Rosa Parks Award
Named for the civil rights icon who refused to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus and sparked not only the Montgomery Bus Boycott but the ultimate end of racial segregation of public facilities, the Rosa Parks Award recognizes an individual who serves as a role model and leader for others through his or her personal achievements, excellence in a chosen field; commitment to human, civil rights and social issues and contributions to the betterment of society. 

The 2019 AAAED Rosa Parks Award Honoree is Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole.
Johnnetta Betsch Cole is a Principal Consultant with Cook Ross, Inc., a consulting firm located in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA.  Before assuming her current position, she served for eight years as the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.  When she retired from the museum on March 31, 2017, Dr. Cole was given the title of Director Emerita. After holding teaching and administrative positions at several colleges and universities, Dr. Cole served as the president of both historically Black colleges for women in the United States--Spelman and Bennett Colleges-- a distinction she alone holds.  She has authored or edited several books and numerous articles for scholarly and general audiences. Dr. Cole was the first African American to serve as the chair of the board of United Way of America.  She formerly served on several corporate boards.  She currently serves on the board of Martha’s Table in Washington, DC. From 2015 to 2016, Dr. Cole was the president of the Association of Art Museum Directors.  Dr. Cole has received numerous awards and is the recipient of 68 honorary degrees.

Edward M. Kennedy Community Service Award
Named for the former Senator from the State of Massachusetts who was a lifetime champion of civil rights, disability rights and other issues on behalf of disadvantaged persons, the award is presented to an individual or organization demonstrating outstanding community service.

The 2019 AAAED Edward M. Kennedy Community Service Award Honorees are:

Deb Dagit, President, Deb Dagit Diversity, LLC, Washington, NJ – National Award Honoree:  Deb Dagit started her own business in 2013 to deliver the consulting services and products she wished were available when she was a Chief Diversity Officer. She focuses on offering practical, just-in-time resources, tools and support for diversity practitioners.  As Merck’s CDO for 11 years, Deb was responsible for global equal opportunity, employee relations, recruiting and staffing, and diversity and inclusion. Under her leadership, the company was recognized for its exemplary work in diversity and inclusion by DiversityInc and Working Mother magazines, the Families and Work Institute, and the Human Rights Campaign. Merck also received the Department of Defense Freedom Award (veterans) and the Department of Labor New Freedom Award (people with disabilities) during her tenure.  She played a key role in the passage of the American with Disabilities Act through her lobbying efforts in both California and Washington, D.C.  She also testified in July 2011 before the U.S. Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions committee regarding best practices for improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

BOSMA Enterprises, Navigating Blindness, Indianapolis, IN – Local Award Honoree
With roots that reach back to 1915, Bosma Enterprises has decades of experience in helping Hoosiers with vision loss achieve independence. Bosma’s rehabilitation program helps nearly 800 people each year. “As we plan for the future, we’re looking forward to assisting even more of Indiana’s almost 160,000 people who are blind or visually impaired.”  Through its rehabilitation services and its job training and employment programs, Bosma teaches people experiencing vision loss how to successfully navigate their lives and jobs. In doing so, it is helping its clients grow their abilities and confidence — a journey that its trainers call “progressing from tears to cheers.

Roosevelt Thomas Champion of Diversity Award
This award was named after the late R. Roosevelt Thomas Jr., known for developing and implementing innovative concepts and strategies for maximizing organizational and individual potential through Diversity Management.  The award is therefore given to an organization or corporation for outstanding achievements in promoting diversity in the workforce. 

The 2019 AAAED Honorees of the Roosevelt Thomas Champion of Diversity Award are: Cummins Inc., Columbus, IN;
Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. Cummins ranked 12th on the DiversityInc. List of the top 50 Companies for Diversity. This is out of 1800 companies that competed for the honor. Every company that participates receives a free report card, assessing its performance versus all competitors overall and in four key areas of diversity management:
           Talent Pipeline: workforce breakdown, recruitment, diameter of existing talent, structures
           Talent Development: employee resource groups, mentoring, philanthropy, movement, fairness
           Leadership Accountability: responsible for results, personal communications, and visibility
           Supplier Diversity: spend with companies owned by people from underrepresented groups,
accountability, support

Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN: Eli Lilly & Company ranked #6 on the DiversityInc list in 2018.  According to DiversityInc: “Eli Lilly moved up 10 spots last year and continues the strong momentum this year, moving into the Top 10.  The company has twice as many Blacks in the top two levels of management than the national average for U.S. companies.”  It also ranks highly on other DiversityInc specialty lists including: (No. 4) Employee Resource Groups; (No. 5) People with Disabilities and (No. 8) Supplier Diversity.

Emerging Leader Award
This award is given to an individual who is becoming a leader on the national stage and who has demonstrated excellence in his/her workplace and/or community.   This is the first year that the award will be conferred.

The 2019 AAAED Emerging Leader Award Honorees are:
Taylor Dumpson, candidate for Juris Doctor and Public Service Scholar -National Award Honoree:  Taylor Dumpson is a candidate for the Juris Doctor and is a Public Service Scholar.  In spring 2017, while pursuing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Law and Society at American University in the Nation’s Capital, Ms. Dumpson became the first black woman to serve as president of the Student Government in the University’s 124-year history. In the wake of her ground-breaking election, she was the target of a racially-motivated hate crime on her first day in office, followed by cyber-harassment by members of white supremacist groups. Since then, and in an effort to raise awareness about the physical, emotional and mental health impacts of hate crimes, Ms. Dumpson has given a TEDx Talk, testified before Congress, and been featured in interviews with various print, television and radio broadcast media such as CNN, NBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, WTOP, and WAMU. Ms. Dumpson’s personal story is featured along with the narratives of other survivors of hate crimes in a newly released book, “American Hate: Survivors Speak Out,” edited by Arjun Singh Sethi. Ms. Dumpson is a 2018 recipient of the Lawyers’ Committee’s Frank R. Parker Client Award, for her “unwavering courage and commitment to standing up against racial and gender-based hatred and promoting diversity and inclusion for all.”

Karina Garduno, Indiana University Purdue University of Indiana – Local Award Honoree:  Karina Garduno joined the IUPUI (Indiana University Purdue University of Indiana) Multicultural Center in June 2015. As the Assistant Director for Multicultural Programming, Karina works in several areas within the Multicultural Center including: multicultural programmatic efforts, developing retention efforts and outreach for diverse student populations, administration of the JAGversity Peer Educators program, accountability for affiliated student organizations, and support and advising in the MC. Karina also works with University College to promote the success of first-year students at IUPUI.

The AAAED 45th National Conference and Annual Meeting is open to the press. For more information or to register for the Conference, go to:

Founded in 1974 as the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA), AAAED is a national not-for-profit association of professionals working in the areas of equal opportunity, compliance and diversity. AAAED has 44 years of leadership in providing professional training to members, enabling them to be more successful and productive in their careers. It also promotes understanding and advocacy of affirmative action and other equal opportunity laws to enhance the tenets of access, inclusion and equality in employment, economic and educational opportunities. 
American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity
1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 200 * Washington, D.C. 20006
202-349-9855 * 866-562-2233 * Fax: 202-355-1399 *

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