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Certificates and Scholarships Awarded at Annual Embracing Diversity Event

Audience at Embracing Diversity Event


October 1, 2019

Diversity isn’t just a framework for Juanita Johnson-Bailey’s research. It’s also the theoretical framework of her life.

“I am aware that I am a product of my cultures, and my cultural identity consists of things that I can see, things that you can see and things that you could probably never guess,” she said. “Embracing diversity is essential to me because I have been shaped and saved by the others. I have been shaped and saved by the many.”

Johnson-Bailey, University Professor and director of UGA’s Institute for Women’s Studies, gave the keynote address at this year’s Embracing Diversity event, held Sept. 5 at Mahler Hall in the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel. The program celebrates the value of diversity and inclusion, recognizes employees who completed requirements for the Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion and presents scholarships to outstanding students.

She shared three important components to successfully embracing diversity: “knowing the stories of people who don’t look like you, knowing your own story and its admitted privileges and challenges, and being willing to be proactive in promoting diversity.”

Johnson-Bailey relied on stories from her own life to illustrate those points. For example, at age 5, she was told she could no longer play with her best friend because of their racial differences.

“I will never forget feeling hopeless,” she said. “I’d play in the front yard, and I’d look across the street, and I wondered, does she miss me, too?”

Johnson-Bailey said that was the first of many lessons that transformed her way of thinking, her way of moving through society and her way of existing.

“What I hope these stories illustrate is how diversity is always a part of our everyday lives,” she said. “We can embrace diversity and seize the opportunities to open that door and do our part to promote understanding and make change.”

UGA President Jere W. Morehead shared some of the ways UGA is opening those doors with recruitment efforts such as Road Dawgs and projects funded through New Approaches to Promote Diversity and Inclusion grants.

“Each of us here has an important role to play in promoting a culture that is welcoming, inclusive and diverse,” he said. “In the end, it is the innovation and collaboration of our faculty, staff and students that is absolutely instrumental.”

Michelle Cook, vice provost for diversity and inclusion and strategic university initiatives, also spoke about the importance of diversity to the campus community.

“The University of Georgia defines diversity broadly, recognizing that everyone is a contributor to and a beneficiary of our diversity,” she said. “We are strengthened daily by the different experiences, backgrounds, cultures and perspectives that we each contribute to the intellectual and educational enterprise at the University of Georgia.”

Two scholarships are awarded as part of Embracing Diversity. The Black Alumni Association Scholarships, sponsored by the Alumni Association, were awarded to first-year students William Mosley III and Mecca Slocum.

Diversity Scholarships, sponsored by the UGA Athletic Association, were awarded to first-year students Joselin Ortuno and Fardosa Hassan.

Approximately 100 UGA employees were recognized for earning the UGA Diversity and Inclusion Certificate, presented to UGA employees who voluntarily completed six courses covering a variety of diversity-related areas. The certificate program is a partnership of the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Training and Career Development Center and other diversity-related offices and programs at UGA.

The 2019 certificate recipients are Kellyn Amodeo, Division of Marketing & Communications; Amber Atkinson, College of Education; Jane Barghothi, Division of Development & Alumni Relations; Jill Bateman, Division of Development & Alumni Relations; Shamara Battle, Office of Global Engagement; Jill Beckett Hopkins, Terry College of Business; Leigh Beeson, Division of Marketing & Communications; Kristina Beevers, Office of Instruction; David Bill, Division of Marketing & Communications; Thomas Brazzle, Equal Opportunity Office; Ray Burg, Student Affairs; Allyson Cantrell, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Toria Carter, Division of Development & Alumni Relations; Carol Catoe, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources; Allison Chestnutt, Division of Development & Alumni Relations; Leslie Colvin, Division of Marketing & Communications; Lindsey Copus, Division of Development & Alumni Relations; Dave Crouch, Information Technology; Debbie Daniel, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Katie Davis, Public Service and Outreach; Melinda DeMaria, Office of Instruction; Cristina deRevere, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Rob Derrick, Office of Global Engagement; Olivia Douglas, Office of Instruction; Glen Falk, Office of Instruction; Amanda Ferster, College of Education; Maggie Fitzsimmons, Student Affairs; Adam Fouche, Division of Finance & Administration; Rebecca Fuller Beeler, Division of Marketing & Communications; Kayla Garrett, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources; Kethia Gates, College of Family and Consumer Sciences; Adam Goodie, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Carla Hadden, Office of Research; Kaitlyn Hall, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Shanice Hardy, Office of Instruction; Kayla Hembree, Division of Development & Alumni Relations; Kelly Holt, University Libraries; Alice Hunt, Office of Instruction; Michael Husted, Student Affairs; Dusty Jackson, Student Affairs; Christopher Johnson, Student Affairs; Whitney Jones, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources; David Key, Public Service and Outreach; Sara Kirkpatrick, Office of Instruction; Patrick Knowles, Division of Development & Alumni Relations; Chris Kopacz, Division of Finance & Administration; Lynnsey Lafayette, School of Law; Justin Lavner, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Jennifer Letchuk, Office of Instruction; Camille Liverpool, Division of Development & Alumni Relations; Jenna Lostritto-Simmons, Division of Development & Alumni Relations; Kate Lovin, Division of Development & Alumni Relations; Kristen Marinzel, School of Law; Tammie Martin, Student Affairs; Deborah Martinez, Graduate School; Linden Mathis, Student Affairs; Jacob M. McDonald, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources; Isha Metzger, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Julian Moore, College of Engineering; Ryan Morgan, Student Affairs; Ashley Morrow, Division of Development & Alumni Relations; Michael Morrow, Division of Development & Alumni Relations; Anne Moser, School of Law; Yaminah Moses, Student Affairs; Emily Mouilso, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Mallory Moye, Division of Development & Alumni Relations; Marty Mullis, Student Affairs; Olivia Myers, Terry College of Business; Laura Nelson, Terry College of Business; Jules NeSmith, Odum School of Ecology; Diann Olszowy Jones, College of Education; Brooke Osborne, Student Affairs; Shaina Patel, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; April Pavelka, Student Affairs; Chitra Pidaparti, College of Education; Christa Rampley, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Lindsey Reynolds, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Krista Richmond, Division of Marketing & Communications; Chris Risse, College of Education; Jabari Robinson, Office of Instruction; Gracie Rowe, Office of Instruction; Emily Saunders, Division of Finance & Administration; Kristi Schaller, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Sonya Sinkfield-Dixon, Office of Institutional Diversity; Becka Smith, Office of Instruction; Lee Snelling, Division of Development & Alumni Relations; Denise Spangler, College of Education; Kay Stanton, Office of Instruction; Erin Thompson Podvin, Office of Instruction; Grace Thornton, College of Education; Christina Tomter, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Amy Wages, Office of Instruction; Chelsea Watson, Student Affairs; Holly Weimer, Division of Development & Alumni Relations; Ernesta White, Student Affairs; Laura Wilkerson, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Camie Williams, University Libraries; Scott Williams, Division of Development & Alumni Relations; Susan Williams, College of Veterinary Medicine; Grace Williamson, Division of Development & Alumni Relations; Stephanie Wilson, Student Affairs; and Sara Wright, University Libraries.