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UW-Madison’s diversity leader wins award

October 22, 2010

The NAACP Madison Branch has awarded its annual W.E.B. DuBois Community Advocacy Award to Damon Williams, vice provost for diversity and climate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

“Dr. Williams has assumed the mantle of working toward diversity in higher education at the state’s flagship university campus with unflinching commitment,” says Madison NAACP President Linda Hoskins. “We’re proud to present him with this recognition of his work to date and the goals he has set for himself, the university as an international institution and the entire state of Wisconsin.”

Named for the founder of the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, the W.E.B. DuBois Community Advocacy Award honors those who work toward equality in the spirit of DuBois, a gifted scholar, author and civil rights leader who helped found and chronicle the National Association of Colored People (NAACP) from its infancy in 1909 as editor of the organization’s official publication, the Crisis magazine.

Williams’ division at UW–Madison was recently expanded to include the university’s key diversity efforts, including the Pre-college Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence (PEOPLE), Posse, the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives and the Center for Educational Opportunity. Williams is also a research faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.

As chief diversity officer, he plays a point leadership role in the enterprise-wide activation of strategic diversity and inclusion initiatives spanning a number of areas, including recruitment and retention, teaching and learning, marketing and communication, training and leadership development, research and scholarship, and other areas that intersect with the university’s diversity and excellence interests.

Williams’ research on chief diversity officers and inclusive excellence have been featured in publications such as About Campus, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Diversity Factor, Strategic Diversity & Inclusion Magazine, the Journal of College and University Human Resource Professionals, Inside Higher Education and others.