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The University of Georgia announced the establishment of a new award on Tuesday to honor the career and dedication of Dawn D. Bennett-Alexander, the Terry College of Business’ first Black woman faculty member. 

The Dawn D. Bennett-Alexander Inclusive Community award will be given annually to a faculty member making strides to facilitate diversity and inclusion on campus. The winner will be honored at the university’s annual Embracing Diversity Celebration.

“This award recognizes the significant contributions of our faculty in our diversity, equity and inclusion work,” said Michelle Cook, UGA’s vice provost for diversity and inclusion, in a UGA Today announcement. “And it also signals to our faculty that the university values their effort in diversity, equity and inclusion overall.”

The university will begin accepting nominations April 1 and will present the award during the fall of 2021.

Bennett-Alexander served as associate professor emeritus for 33 years. She earned over 50 awards and recognitions throughout her educational career, 10 of which are for Outstanding Professor of the Year. She practiced law before becoming an educator, working in legal capacities in and around Washington. 

Bennett-Alexander is also the founder of Practical Diversity, an organization that assists companies in furthering the diversity and inclusion in their workspaces.

“[Bennett-Alexander] created Practical Diversity as a space to share her knowledge in hopes of making the world a better place, while taking diversity from theory to practice,” according to her website.