Diversity Leadership Awards

Honoring diversity champions

The Diversity Leadership Awards recognize University faculty, staff, students, and alumni who, in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., display leadership in fostering diversity and inclusion and advancing the cause of justice and equality in our community and society. Award recipients are recognized at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Celebration.

Who is eligible?

All University of Chicago/University of Chicago Medicine faculty and staff members and students and alumni of the College, graduate divisions, and professional schools are eligible.

Who may nominate?

We welcome all nominations, including self-nominations. 

How do I nominate?

Nominations for the current academic year are currently closed.


Please contact diversity-leadership-awards@uchicago.edu.


Diversity Leadership Faculty Award 
Anita Blanchard, MD ’90

Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UChicago Medicine and Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education at the Pritzker School of Medicine

Diversity Leadership Staff Award
Jessica Jaggers

Dean of Students and Associate Dean of Student Life at the Booth School of Business

Diversity Leadership Alumni Award
Rami Nashashibi, AM’98, PhD’11

Founder and Executive Director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN)

Diversity Leadership College Student Award
Demetrius Johnson, Jr. 
Third-year student in the College

Diversity Leadership Graduate/Professional Student Award
Nova Smith

PhD Candidate in Cinema and Media Studies

Read more about the 2021 recipients
2021 Diversity Leadership Awards highlights video

Diversity Leadership Faculty Award 
Herschella Glenn Conyers, AB, JD

Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School

Diversity Leadership Staff Award
Joel D. Jackson

Assistant Director of Inclusion and Training for the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Department at University of Chicago Medicine

Diversity Leadership Alumni Award
Thomas L. Fisher, MD ’01 

Longtime health care leader

Read more about the 2020 recipients

Diversity Leadership Faculty Award 
Monica Vela, MD’93 

Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs at the Pritzker School of Medicine; Associate Vice Chair for Diversity in the Department of Medicine

Diversity Leadership Staff Award
Ron OJ Parson

Resident Artist at the Court Theatre

Diversity Leadership Alumni Award
Sybil Jordan Hampton, MST’68 

Lifelong advocate of public education, economic development, philanthropy, and social justice

Read more about the 2019 recipients

Diversity Leadership Faculty Award
Randolph N. Stone 

Clinical Professor of Law at the Law School; Co-Director and Founder of the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project Clinic

Diversity Leadership Staff Award 
Scott Cook

Deputy Director of Finding Answers; Quality Improvement and Clinical Transformation Strategist for the Department of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity at the University of Chicago Medicine

Diversity Leadership Alumni Award
Sunny Fischer, AM’82 

Longtime Leader in Progressive Philanthropy; Board Chair, National Public Housing Museum 

Read more about the 2018 recipients

Diversity Leadership Faculty Award
Margaret Beale Spencer, PhD’76
Marshall Field IV Professor of Urban Education in Comparative Human Development

Diversity Leadership Staff Award
Rudy Nimocks

Director of Community Partnerships 

Diversity Leadership Alumni Award
Jamil Khoury, AM’92


Read more about the 2017 recipients
2017 Diversity Leadership Awards Highlights Video

Diversity Leadership Faculty Award
Nancy Schwartz 
Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs in the Biological Sciences Division and Professor of Pediatrics and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Diversity Leadership Staff Award
Denise Jorgens AM'83 PhD'95
Director of International House

Diversity Leadership Alumni Award
Charles Branham PhD'80
Senior Historian at DuSable Museum of African American History

Read more about the 2016 recipients
2016 Diversity Leadership Awards Highlight Video

Diversity Leadership Faculty Award
Cathy Cohen
David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science
Diversity Leadership Staff Award
Vernonica Haud
Deputy Dean of Admissions, Director of Equity and Access Programming
Diversity Leadership Alumni Award
Timuel Black, AM’54 
African American Civil Rights Leader

Read more about the 2015 recipients
Honoring a devotion to diversity: Diversity Leadership Award recipient Prof. Cathy Cohen calls diversity 'central to the intellectual work we do'
2015 Diversity Leadership Awards Video

Diversity Leadership Staff Award
Kathleen Forde
Assistant Dean of Students in the College

Diversity Leadership Staff Award
Theaster Gates
Director of the Arts and Public Life Initiative

Diversity Leadership Alumni Award
Aida Giachello, AM’71, PhD’88
Professor of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Read more about the 2014 recipients
2014 Diversity Leadership Awards Video

Diversity Leadership Staff Award
Kim Ransom
Director, Collegiate Scholars Program

Diversity Leadership Alumni Award
Michael Bennett, PhD’88
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, DePaul University

Read more about the 2013 recipients
2013 Diversity Leadership Awards Highlight Video

Diversity Leadership Staff Award
Shayne Evans
Managing Director, Urban Education Institute; Director, University of Chicago Charter School

Diversity Leadership Alumni Award
Sylvia Puente, AM'90
Executive Director, Latino Policy Forum

Read more about the 2012 recipients
2012 Diversity Leadership Awards Highlight Video

Diversity Leadership Staff Award
Lynda N. Hale
Administrative Director of the Primary Care Group

Diversity Leadership Alumni Award
Dr. James E. Bowman, '64
Professor Emeritus in Pathology and Medicine

2011 Diversity Leadership Awards Highlight Video

Diversity Leadership Staff Award
Duel Richardson, AB'67
Director of Neighborhood Relations/Education in the Office of Civic Engagement

Diversity Leadership Alumni Award
Evette Cardona, AM'98 School of Social Service Administration

Diversity Leadership Staff Award
Larry Hawkins
Director of Special Programs and College Preparation

Diversity Leadership Alumni Award
James Hormel, JD'58, and Hedy Ratner, AM'74