Clark State awards community members for efforts to promote diversity

Members of the NAACP Springfield Chapter gather around their diversity and inclusion award from Clark Sate Community College.

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Members of the NAACP Springfield Chapter gather around their diversity and inclusion award from Clark Sate Community College.

Clark State Community College recently honored a staff member and the local chapter of the NAACP for their efforts to promote diversity.

Clark State Dean of Student Support Services Ronald Gordon and the executive committee of the Springfield Unit of the NAACP both received the Diversity and Inclusion Award from the diversity committee at the community college.

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“It’s just a way for us to recognize individuals or community leaders that have implemented ideas or promoted development of diversity in our society,” said Crystal Jones, an associate professor at Clark State and co-chairwoman of the diversity committee.

Nominations were open to the community. Students, organizations and individuals were eligible for the award, Jones said. The committee chose the NAACP because of the work committee members have done in building the organization’s presence in the community since 2013.

The chapter had been dormant for several years, she said, until current President Denise Williams revitalized it.

READ MORE: Denise Williams wins third term as NAACP Springfield president

“(She) turned it from a two-member volunteer organization and turned into what it is now, which is over 100 members,” Jones said.

The 20-member volunteer executive committee has handled more than 150 complaints in the past four years, she said, and strengthened relationships with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Springfield city commissioners. The NAACP also offers a minority health fair each year.

“It couldn’t be done without these guys because of their commitment and their devotion,” Williams said. “I worry these guys to death and they still stick with me.”

Williams submitted the committee for the award, she said, as way to thank them for the work they do.

“They’re hardworking with our police departments and the school system,” she said. “We are all in the community to bring everyone together as one.”

Ronald Gordon lead the charge to create the award, Jones said. This is the second year Clark State has chosen winners of the Diversity and Inclusion Award.

Last year the award was given to board of trustees member Sharon Evans and Carin Burr, associate professor for social services.

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