NEWSED Community Development Corp. last week presented a Civil Rights Award to MSU Denver and President Stephen Jordan, citing a host of initiatives that welcome and support students of color.
The awards, presented annually since 1992, recognize the civil rights movement and honors individuals and organizations for their contributions to equality and social justice. NEWSED is a nonprofit organization based in West Denver that supports and promotes economic development, neighborhood revitalization and housing opportunities and hosts Latino cultural events.
Jordan and the University were cited for “all the great work they’ve done” on behalf of students of color, including the “very courageous” decision to establish the Colorado High School/GED Non-resident Tuition Rate for undocumented students, says Andrea Barela, development director for NEWSED.
“It’s such a great example of game changing,” she says. “That’s part of the reason why they were chosen.”
While honoring the institution during NEWSED’s 21st annual Civil Rights Awards ceremony Nov. 8, Jordan, as MSU Denver's president, was singled out for praise.
“The school’s been around since 1965…and I’ve never seen a president be so inclusive in all the time I’ve been here at NEWSED,” says Veronica Barela (’77), president and CEO of the organization she has headed since 1978, in an interview. “He is amazing.”
She, too, cited the new tuition rate, as well as the University’s academic success and the invitation Jordan has extended to the neighboring community to use the new athletic complex announced last week.
Civil Rights Awards also were presented to Dean Prina, pediatrician and community activist; Pat Cortez, senior vice president of public and governmental relations for Wells Fargo Bank; Rod Tafoya, businessman and community activist; Joe Garcia, lieutenant governor of Colorado, and the Anti-Defamation League of Colorado and Scott Levin.
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