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Whitworth Receives "INSIGHT Into Diversity" 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

September 17, 2020
Whitworth University is pleased to announce it is a recipient of the 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. This is the third time in the last four years Whitworth has received this award.

This national honor recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“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,” says Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“We take a detailed 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 done every day across their campus.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected Whitworth based on its many efforts in the recruitment and retention of a diversified population through programs like the Building Unity and Cultivating Success (BUCS) Bridge program and Act Six, a cohort-based program that brings underrepresented students from urban ministries on full scholarship to Whitworth and equips them to provide transformative leadership for the university campus and their home communities.

Whitworth University offers an annual Diversity, Equity & Inclusion professional development series for faculty and staff. About eight workshops or training sessions are offered per year on diversity, equity and inclusion practices, as well as topics like implicit biases, stereotypes, stereotype threat, intercultural communication, racism, micro-aggression, and power and privilege. These sessions are facilitated by both internal and external experts on these topics, and are focused on practical strategies to improve DEI and build an inclusive community. Employees who attend 80 percent of the trainings receive a certificate that can be used in their yearly evaluations.

The president’s cabinet at Whitworth engages in diversity, equity and inclusion professional development through monthly courageous conversations. These dialogues are grounded in books, articles, films and other scholarly sources addressing a variety of DEI topics such as race, anti-racism, sexism, gender identity and disability. These conversations are designed as courageous spaces for all participants to grow in their knowledge and understanding of these issues, and cabinet members are encouraged to think about how the issues impact their respective areas of work.

“We are excited to receive this recognition of the collective efforts of the Whitworth community to live up to our mission ‘to provide its diverse student body an education of the mind and the heart, equipping its graduates to honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity,’” says Lorna Hernandez Jarvis, chief diversity officer and associate vice president of diversity, equity & inclusion. “I thank every member of the community for their genuine care to make our community inclusive and the support they give each student in their journey to be agents of positive change in the world.”

Other recipients of the HEED award include Central Washington University and Oregon State University. For more information about the 2020 HEED award, visit

About Whitworth University:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students and offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Lorna Hernandez Jarvis, chief diversity officer and associate vice president of diversity, equity & inclusion, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4215 or

Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or