ACCCA Award for Progress in Diversity

The ACCCA Award for Progress in Diversity was created as a component of the ACCCA Diversity Forum to recognize the outstanding achievements of individuals and organizations in their efforts to expand the concept of diversity in the wider higher education community.

The inspiration for the award comes from its first honorary recipient, Dr. Gus Guichard, retired Vice Chancellor for the California Community Colleges. Prior to his retirement Gus made numerous contributions in the arena of higher education, and most particularly, in expanding awareness of the need to maintain and recognize diversity among students, faculty and administrators and model tolerance for all groups.

We know that the issues surrounding the establishment of a more diverse education culture have often met with debate and even new restrictions in recent years and many in our community view this as a setback. From an education standpoint, we can concur that it requires extraordinary effort to bring the need for increased diversity to light among all constituencies, especially those outside the education community. These efforts surge to the foreground when we consider the wonderful work of some of our most enlightened colleagues.

In establishing the criteria for this award, the commission put forth its assertion that an honor of this nature must encompass both the individual as well as the institution. It requires the initiative of the individual to spearhead any effort toward expanding diversity, but also to see the idea through to fruition. It requires the cooperation of the institution to enact the policies and ensure that the concept of honoring diversity within its culture is supported.

Therefore, in 2002 the ACCCA leadership established the Award for Progress in Diversity and set the following criteria for the award:

  • A demonstrated history of effective leadership in promoting diversity, particularly in higher education;
  • Documented support from colleagues or those within the organization that attests to the unique contribution of the individual or organization; OR
  • Research or a documented presentation at the state or national level that has impacted, enhanced or represents a contribution toward the goal of diversity in higher education; OR
  • The creation -by a district or organization-of an unprecedented example of inclusion through district policy, activities on campus and within the organization, or organizational documentation that represents effective actions taken by the organization toward inclusion.

Each year the Diversity Forum of ACCCA considers nominations and outstanding examples of the above criteria and formulates a recommendation to the Board.

Materials which are supplemental to nomination (i.e., letters of support) may be sent directly to ACCCA at

Click here to submit a nomination.

Click here to see past award winners.

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