Edith Irby Jones (December 23, 1927 – July 15, 2019) was an American physician who was the first African American to be accepted as a non-segregated student at the University of Arkansas Medical School (now the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences) and the first black student to attend racially mixed classes in the American South. She was the first African American to graduate from a southern medical school, first black intern in the state of Arkansas, and later first black intern at Baylor College of Medicine. Jones was the first woman president of the National Medical Association. She was honored by many awards, including induction into both the University Of Arkansas College Of Hall of Fame and the inaugural group of women inducted into the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame. In addition to her distinguished medical career, Dr. Irby Jones was an activist for civil rights, working with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as part of the civil rights movement. She was the only physician and female member of the “Freedom Four,” who spoke across the South in homes and churches encouraging people to join the civil rights movement.
The Dr. Edith Irby Jones Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion award honors the legacy of Dr. Edith Irby Jones, who demonstrated ongoing courage in breaking racial and gender barriers in her commitment to provide health care to those in need. The award recognizes outstanding individuals, whose achievement is not part of their normal job, but who continue to show a personal commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Seven categories of award nominations are accepted:
- Leadership – this award is given to a person in a senior leadership position, such as Chancellor, Provost, Medical Center CEO, Vice Chancellor, Dean, Department Chair or Executive Associate Dean, Executive Divisional Director, who has innovated, impressed and made a real difference in enhancing community trust and creating a corporate culture that is fair, supportive and inclusive and has demonstrated executive leadership commitment by championing leadership behaviors consistent with the concepts of diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Faculty – this award recognizes individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions towards inclusive excellence by means of service, leadership, research and/or education. Recipients may demonstrate this commitment across a range of possibilities: student-centered inclusion initiatives; efforts to support recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and/or students; teaching and/or research initiatives; community outreach activities or several other possibilities. Nominations are accepted for two categories:
- Early Career Faculty – faculty members who are within the first five years of their initial academic appointment and contingent faculty members.
- Mid/Senior Career Faculty – faculty members who are in year six or later of their initial academic appointment.
- Trainee – this award recognizes an outstanding resident, post-doc or fellow who demonstrates a commitment to the principles and ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Staff – this award recognizes a staff member who exemplifies diversity and inclusion through actions and practices that are not a requirement of the staff member’s job, such as: extending a welcoming work environment and fostering a sense of belonging to the staff member’s workplace and UAMS community through positive interaction with persons of different cultural backgrounds and displaying behavior that illustrates commitment to inclusion of persons within the institution who are members of traditionally underrepresented groups; effective mentoring to underrepresented employees; active participation in DDEI subcommittees, etc.
- Student – this award recognizes an outstanding student who has motivated other members of the University to strive for inclusive excellence. This student embraces diversity, equity and inclusion and serves humanity through learning, as demonstrated by their dedication to the growth of their peers.
- Lifetime Achievement – this award honors an individual who over time has excelled across teaching, service, and scholarship that fosters diversity; or has built solid, lasting and meaningful partnerships with community groups and organizations who have had a significant impact on diversity, equity and inclusion such that the individual serves as an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion and is a role model to others.
Award recipients shall have demonstrated one or more of the following:
- Commitment to the spirit of diversity and inclusion as shown through word and action, where beyond the normal scope of their work duties, recipients sought out, valued and utilized differing knowledge, experiences and talents of UAMS’ diverse community
- Promoted practices and initiated efforts to support inclusion of all people, building community and effective cross-cultural collaborations
- Aligned actions and decisions with the University’s core value of diversity by championing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives
- Leadership through positive interactions with persons of diverse backgrounds and points of view
- Personal characteristics which foster respect for and inclusion of persons within the institution or in the community who are members of traditionally underrepresented groups
Please complete all fields of the following form. No self-nominations are allowed. Please limit your employee nominations to nominees who have worked full-time at UAMS for at least one year, and to those who have not previously received the award. The student nominee shall be currently enrolled in a UAMS academic program with a regular course load and be in good academic standing.
Awards will be presented as a part of the UAMS State of Diversity event in September.
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: Friday, August 4, 2023
Deadline submission time has passed.