FRAMINGHAM – For the sixth time, Framingham State University has been recognized for its efforts to support diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus with a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award.
The award is given by INSIGHT into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education. Framingham State will be featured along with 90 other recipients nationwide in the magazine’s November 2020 issue.
This is the sixth time Framingham State University has been honored with the award since 2014, and the University is the only public college in Massachusetts included on this year’s list.
“It’s an honor to once again be recognized with a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award,” said Constanza Cabello, FSU’s Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement. “As the COVID19 pandemic continues to disproportionally impact communities of color, our efforts to ensure that we are providing equitable opportunities to all of our students, regardless of their economic or racial background, are more important than ever.”
As the pandemic began spreading throughout the United States last spring, Framingham State quickly setup resources to support its most vulnerable populations. It also challenged members of its community to think about how it can support communities of color, low-income students, food and housing insecure community members, students with disabilities, and more.
Two months later, in response to the murder of George Floyd in May and the nationwide protests that resulted from it, Framingham State President F. Javier Cevallos further committed FSU to the work of anti-racism, announcing the creation of an Institutional Inclusive Excellence Committee to focus on anti-racist strategy to positively impact the student experience. He also announced further training and education for University police officers and other FSU employees focused on maintaining a safe and inclusive environment and added an objective into the University’s strategic plan requiring every
department on campus to engage in antiracism work, at the individual, interpersonal, and/or system level.
“I want to be clear about our anti-racist stance,” Cevallos wrote to the community. “We recognize the damaging effects of systemic racism on the experience and success of communities of color.”
The HEED award is a national recognition honoring colleges and universities that exhibit outstanding efforts and success in the area of diversity and inclusion throughout their campuses.
“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.”
Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,400 students with 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields.