In honor of MLK Week, Ursinus College presented the first Inclusion and Equity Awards to three outstanding community members who go above and beyond to promote an inclusive and diverse atmosphere.
These awards were first announced in 2019 as part of the college’s commitment to growing an inclusive community. The MLK Week committee selected the winners from a pool of candidates nominated by faculty, staff and students. Carlita Favero, an associate professor of biology; Ashley Henderson, assistant director of the Institute for Inclusion and Equity; and Codi Yhap ’20, double majoring in Music and Biology, were awarded for their achievements.
Professor Favero said, “I’m extremely honored to be recognized with this award. I also feel so grateful to share in this … with other members of the Ursinus community whose friendship I cherish, Codi Yhap and Ashley Henderson. I was honestly quite shocked to be nominated and awarded. There are so many members of the community that I’ve worked with to advance inclusion and equity on our campus that it doesn’t feel like a solo effort. I’ve been encouraged and inspired by so many in what I do and I’m grateful to have such a strong and growing community to continue to do this work. Thank you for this recognition!”
Henderson is responsible for programming, advising student groups and forging collaboration across campus for the Institute of Inclusion and Equity. She is dedicated to supporting students as they transition to college as well as creating environments for underserved populations to thrive. She provides input for strategic initiatives related to diversity and inclusive practice. Henderson also serves on the Student Affairs Crisis Response Team and is Professional Development Chair for Staff Assembly.
Henderson stated, “As a recipient of the staff award, I am truly grateful to be a part of the Ursinus community. I am thankful that I am able to partner with many of the amazing students, faculty and staff as we work towards a collective vision of a caring, inclusive and equitable environment. This cannot simply be an ideal stated within our values, but something that we all experience every day.”
Yhap reflected, “I was given the award for creating the book club Time Alone with Baldwin (T.A.B.) which seeks to bring students, faculty and staff for open dialogue around topics of spirituality, social justice and vocation. The club started in the spring of my sophomore year (2018). After the passing of Rev. Rice I was concerned that there would no longer be a space to have open conversation around these topics. Although they may exist in pockets across campus, T.A.B. allows people to come and discuss these things openly. We do read James Baldwin but we also read other authors too! Rev. was a Baldwin scholar so I thought it would only be right to pay homage to my mentor.”
He continued,“I was very honored to receive the award on behalf of T.A.B. Since I was asked to do this interview I think the award means more people will learn about T.A.B. for the first time. But, on a serious note, this award means that T.A.B. is doing well. As I prepare to graduate, I know T.A.B. can continue to grow which makes me happy.”