The Celebration of Diversity program is an annual event that brings together campus and community leaders to affirm their collective support for an inclusive society and community. This event celebrates the achievements of faculty, academic professionals and civil service employees who make significant contributions in creating and sustaining an inclusive living, learning, and working community at Illinois.
In honor of the past Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access director, Dr. Larine Y. Cowan, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access (ODEA) created awards consistent with Dr. Cowan’s values for human rights advocacy, social justice, and diversity. The Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Awards recognize, and honor nominees who demonstrate exceptional dedication to and success in promoting diversity and inclusion through teaching, research, hiring practices, courses, programs, and events.
Award categories are as follows;
1. Advocacy for LGBTQ Affairs, honoring students, staff, or faculty who have demonstrated their commitment to supporting and promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) affairs at Illinois.
2. Excellence in Access and Accommodations, honoring individuals or campus units for their efforts to expand and improve the utilization of programs and structures by persons with disabilities.
3. Leadership in Diversity, honoring nominees who demonstrate exceptional dedication to and success in promoting diversity and inclusion via research, hiring practices, courses, programs, and events.
4. Teaching and Mentoring in Diversity, honoring faculty, instructors, or lecturers who have consistently contributed to the promotion of understanding critical issues related to diversity and equity in teaching and/or the mentoring of diverse students.