Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award

The Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award honors faculty who have done significant research, teaching or service/leadership to advance justice, equity, diversity and inclusion at the University, in the person's field of study, or in our broader community. These awards are meant to advance and elevate equity work; provide funding in recognition of the value of that work; and showcase critical scholarship, pedagogy, and community engagement.

Candidates for the awards are nominated by their departments. These awards are made possible through the generous support of the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the Office of Equity and Diversity.

Nomination materials are available at https://faculty.umn.edu/review-recognition/awards-recognition/awards

List of Recipients


Ruby Nancy, Marketing, Labovitz School of Business and Economics, UMN Duluth

Dr. Ruby Nancy infuses her values into her service, leadership, teaching and research at the University of Minnesota Duluth—supporting justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the classroom and beyond. Her committee work, leadership, and teaching in the Labovitz School and her efforts with UMD-wide organizations all center DEI concerns: anti-racist pedagogy, teaching for accessibility, economic equity, and community building. Her research brings Black feminism and queer feminist rhetorical practices into the field of business.

R. Lee Penn, Chemistry, College of Science and Engineering, UMN Twin Cities

Lee’s outreach and advocacy for students, staff, postdocs, and faculty who hold marginalized identities has consistently grown since arriving at the UMN, with recognition of their work at the local, national, and international levels. Their focus on continuing education on topics related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion emphasizes their own development and growth as well as that within the communities of current and aspiring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) professionals and instructors.

Jeanine Weekes Schroer, Philosophy, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, UMN Duluth

Dr. Schroer’s research concerns racism, sexism, and ableism; oppressive narratives; and restorative
justice. Her current project examines how narratives of untrustworthiness permeate the healthcare
experiences of black patients and correlating shortcomings in healthcare and medical research they
reveal. Her anti-racist policy work — specifically the liberal education category on race, power, and
justice and faculty development work in accord with it — have had a considerable impact on justice,
equity, diversity and inclusion at UMD.


Brooke Cunningham, Family Medicine & Community Health, Medical School, UMN Twin Cities

Dr. Cunningham advances justice, equity, diversity and inclusion as a researcher and medical educator. Her research broadly focuses on race and medicine. Her current study aims to reduce racial disparities in healthcare by training White physicians to safely and effectively talk to Black patients about experiences of racism. As co-director of the DEI Thread in the Medical School, she partners with faculty, staff, and students to increase health equity content in the curriculum and to cultivate antiracist learning environments.

Malinda Alaine Lindquist, History, College of Liberal Arts, UMN Twin Cities

Malinda Alaine Lindquist's research explores how Black social scientists understood, challenged and constructed masculinity and debated and contested the meanings of educational equity, achievement, and harm. Her justice, equity, diversity and inclusion work is most visible in her embrace of assessment tools and pedagogical frameworks that center equity; her engagement with University-wide efforts to excavate institutional racism and center racial analysis; and her collaborations with Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Allen Mensinger, Biology, Swenson College of Science and Engineering, UMN Duluth

Increasing equity, inclusion and diversity in the biological sciences, Dr. Mensinger has used his extramural funding during the past two decades to substantially increase the number of research opportunities for students in the STEM fields and to support a diverse group of scholars in undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral research in the biological sciences at the university, regional and national level. This has resulted in disproportionate numbers of students in marginalized populations enrolling and completing graduate degrees in the STEM fields.

Alisha Wackerle-Hollman, Educational Psychology, College of Education & Human Development, UMN Twin Cities

Dr. Wackerle-Hollman has pursued a research agenda that focuses on family engagement and early childhood assessment with families and children that has a deep commitment to promoting social justice, equity and inclusion in community and educational settings. She has used community-based participatory research methodology in collaboration with communities to build family and educator capacity to assess and nurture Spanish and Hmong language development as well as to build positive parenting skills through an empowerment lens.