On Wednesday, Nov. 11, Clarion University held its annual Social Equity Week Dinner and Awards Ceremony, sponsored by the Clarion University Student Senate.
The celebration of Equity Week began in 1998 following a proclamation from Gov. Robert Casey, Sr. of the declaration of a “Diversity Day” at Clarion University. Every year since, various student organizations, faculty and staff come together during Social Equity Week in order to educate and inform the community on issues of equality, tolerance and inclusiveness.
The weeklong set of events is intended to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of individuals or groups on campus who demonstrate the aforementioned qualities and values, and it is all capped off with a banquet dinner where awards are presented to said individuals and groups.
Dr. Jocelind Gant served as the keynote speaker for this year’s awards dinner. Dr. Gant has served Clarion University for over 20 years as assistant to the president for Social Equity and associate vice president for International Programs.
Additionally, Dr. Gant is the co-founder of the Equity Banquet and awards ceremony and was invited by Student Senate to be the keynote for this year’s dinner in honor of her pending retirement. Gant’s accomplishments have been recognized by major newspapers such as The Boston Globe and The New York Times, as well as several other national publications including The American Council on Higher Education‘s publications on diversity. Dr. Gant delivered remarks regarding the importance of equality and inclusiveness alongside university President Dr. Karen M. Whitney.
Several awards were distributed throughout the night to campus organizations and individual students deemed exemplary of the core values and moral mission of Social Equity Week. One such student to receive an award was senior Katie Ellinger, president of the Clarion Allies student organization. Ellinger received the Outstanding Student Award for her efforts in bringing a higher sense of equality and civil parity to Clarion, most notably through her successful advocacy of gender-neutral restroom facilities across campus.
For more information regarding the Office of Social Equity or Social Equity Week, contact Dr. Gant at firstname.lastname@example.org or 814-393-2109.
You can visit the office of social equity online.