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Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Award

Established in the year 2020, the Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Award represents a commitment by the Georgia Association of College and Employers (GACE) to recognize and celebrate the initiatives, policies and practices of colleges and employers that embrace diversity and inclusion. This can be achieved through hiring practices, professional development, programming, or service and leadership that enhance opportunities for people of diverse cultures, backgrounds and experiences.

GACE recognizes that diversity in numbers alone is not enough to facilitate welcoming atmospheres where all participants feel valued. It is also important to intentionally create policies, procedures and practices that invite all voices to the decision-making table. Without these proactive measures, the benefits of diversity – increased creativity, the capacity for solving complex problems, greater satisfaction and higher quality organizational productivity – are nearly impossible to attain. GACE would like to celebrate those organizations which set the standard for these inclusive practices through the recognition of this award.


  • Active GACE membership by at least one staff member of nominated organization during nomination year
  • Demonstrated commitment to the philosophy/mission of GACE
  • Current or previous representation on a GACE board or committee(s)


Applications are reviewed for efforts in any of the following areas:

  • Hiring Practices - For inclusive environments to be sustained, policies and systems must be implemented that support the organization’s recruitment of staff.
    Examples: targeted recruitment efforts, visiting diverse student groups or clubs, implementing diverse hiring policies

  • Professional Development - Diversity and inclusion efforts can be enhanced by creating and/or supporting programs aimed at increasing cultural and practical competencies for all individuals who have a role in the organization’s success.
    Examples: diversity trainings, annual orientations, speaker series, funding and time for professional development, mentoring programs, diversity conferences and seminars

  • Programming – Creation of programs and/or collaboration with individuals and organizations outside of the department that have shared goals around inclusion can increase that success and impact of those programs.
    Examples: partnerships with campus chief diversity/inclusion officer, co-sponsored events, community outreach and engagement

  • Service & Leadership - For inclusion to be accepted and championed throughout an organization, buy-in from all individuals is crucial from top to bottom. Organizations should provide visible and consistent messaging about the importance of diversity within the organization, as well as show support for diversity efforts, and provide vision and initiatives that others embrace.
    Examples: vision and mission statements that include diversity statements, branding, serving and championing diverse communities


Nominations can be made online annually during the open nomination time period. Two letters of support are required for all nominations, along with completion of the nominating form. Self-nominations are welcome.

Nominations will describe how the nominee organization has fostered leadership and commitment to enhance diversity and inclusion and expanded opportunities for students, staff and/or employees. Nominations should include evidence of at least one of the criteria outlined above. Further, letters of support from self-nominated institutions must come from members outside of the department that have knowledge of their accomplishments or involvement with the programming.


The winner will be recognized annually at the Awards Reception at the GACE Annual Conference.


Wednesday, March 29, 2024


  • 2023: Georgia Southern University 
  • 2022: Georgia Gwinnett College

Monday, January 8, 2024

Wednesday, March 29, 2024

Nomination Form Link

GACE Thanks Our Partners For Their Continued Support

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