Fresno State received the 2015 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 annual HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion – Fresno State will be featured, along with 91 other recipients, in the November 2015 issue of the magazine.

This is the second consecutive year Fresno State has been named a recipient. According to the magazine, Fresno State was selected for demonstrating exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives, as well as for embracing a broad definition of diversity on campus.

“Receiving this honor two years in a row speaks to the bold commitment we have at Fresno State to celebrating our differences and creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all,” said Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro. “At Fresno State, diversity is essential to our academic excellence.”

The President’s Commission on Human Relations and Equity at Fresno State launched A Strategic Plan for Inclusion, Respect and Equity (ASPIRE) in 2013. In the past two years the program has hosted several events and initiatives, including a forum on Sept. 15 on intersectionality, or the ways in which identity categories intersect to produce multiple experiences.

“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 holistic 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 accomplished every day across a campus.”

Fresno State is one of three California State University campuses to receive the honor, including Cal State East Bay and Cal State San Marcos.

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