Georgia Gwinnett College recognized with inaugural Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Award

GGC’s Whitney Smith, Sherrie Goodman and Roslyn Brown

(From l. to r.) GGC’s Whitney Smith, Sherrie Goodman and Roslyn Brown celebrate receipt of GACE’s inaugural Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Award. 

Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) was selected to receive the Georgia Association of Colleges and Employers (GACE) inaugural Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Award. The award recognizes the efforts of a university career services office or employer member.

GGC received the award for its program, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? A Conversation on Diversity in the Workplace. The event drew GGC student, faculty and staff participants, who heard from a panel of representatives from the government and private sectors. Over dinner, event panelists discussed their respective experiences and provided advice in navigating through diversity issues in the workplace.

Sherrie Goodman, acting director of GGC’s Career Development and Advising Center (CDAC) said that the Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner event allowed participants to share their own experiences in what she called a “safe space.”

“They also gained great insight into what to expect in the workplace and were able to network and gain a sense of community with each other and the various employers who attended the event,” said Goodman, who moderated the event panel. “The event underscored the importance of how participants see themselves and how they are embraced in the workplace.”

An intentional focus on building a culture of inclusive excellence was among Dr. Jann L. Joseph’s presidential priorities when she assumed the GGC presidency. In response, a series of initiatives led by GGC’s Diversity and Equity Compliance office, which are designed to bring the campus community together and create an open, inclusive, welcoming environment, were developed.

The college, which has been recognized year after year as the most ethnically diverse among southern regional colleges by U.S. News and World Report, assesses the culture within the GGC community through its Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Campus Climate Survey. Through professional development, education and programming focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, GGC strives to create and promote an environment that supports student, faculty and staff recruitment and retention. GGC aspires to be recognized in the Gwinnett community and beyond as a leader in diversity and inclusive excellence.

According to GACE’s website, the Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Award represents the organization’s commitment “to recognize and celebrate the initiatives, policies and practices of colleges and employers that embrace diversity and inclusion.”

Goodman said that GGC will host another Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner event in early 2023.

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