Diversity is one of Fresno State’s top values, a pride point for celebrating the differences and commonalities of its students and the region, which together build opportunity and success.
Fresno State’s commitment to diversity and inclusion has earned the University its sixth Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, one of the oldest and largest diversity-focused publications in higher education.
As a recipient of the award, Fresno State will be featured in the November issue of the magazine along with 95 other colleges and universities from across the nation. Other California State Universities also recognized include: East Bay, Fullerton, Los Angeles, Northridge and San Marcos.
“The diversity of our campus community is a core value and strength at Fresno State,” said Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro. “Through our collective and intentional efforts, diversity creates a welcoming environment where everyone feels connected to the University’s mission.”
While cultural diversity is celebrated through public events on campus throughout the year, the University’s diversity and inclusion efforts are woven into the work of many offices across campus every day. Some examples include:
- Education conferences targeting special groups including the Hmong Student Association’s Higher Education Conference, Chicano/a Youth Conference and the Native American Youth Conference.
- Super Sunday, the flagship event for California State University’s African American Initiative project, and Super Saturday, a college and career summit, both of which introduce African American students and their parents to postsecondary education and what Fresno State has to offer.
- Q Clothing Closet providing free clothing, shoes and accessories for non-binary and transgender students.
- Project Rebound program to help formerly incarcerated individuals earn their degrees.
- Cross Cultural and Gender Center Retreat, a three-day residential experience that provides an opportunity for students to establish a sense of belonging on campus, develop leadership skills and increase their cultural awareness.
Hispanic Heritage Month kicked off on Thursday, Sept. 12, with the annual Bienvenida celebration connecting students to Latino clubs, organizations and campus programs. Other events this month include a celebration of Hispanic heritage at the Sept. 21 football game, CineCulture film screenings and La Feria de Educación, an education fair conducted in Spanish.
“Receiving this award is very encouraging to the campus community,” said Dr. Francine Oputa, director of the Cross Cultural and Gender Center at Fresno State. “We are keenly aware that there is still work to be done. However, this award gives us an opportunity to pause for a moment and appreciate the work that has been done and the efforts that so many of our students, faculty, staff and administrators continue to do.”