John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Awards. (Video, report & photos)
- California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Sacramento, Calif., on Monday, July 12, 2010, at the Dr. John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Awards. Photo courtesy of the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office.
SACRAMENTO – Joining the California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott and members of the Board of Governors, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gathered with education leaders, industry chiefs and students in Sacramento on Monday on the 10th anniversary of the Dr. John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award ceremony.
All were together in support of a common goal – honoring programs and staff that demonstrate a commitment to maintaining and recognizing the important role community colleges play in providing educational opportunities to all Californians.
The annual award promotes diversity at the community colleges and is named for Rice’s late father, a former member of the Board of Governors.
The 2010 award was presented to the Taft College Transition to Independent Living Program that helps integrate disabled students into campus life and to Elaine Moore, a founder of the El Camino College Project Success program that seeks to improve academic performance and graduation rates of inner city students transitioning to college.
“I would like to congratulate the winners from Taft and El Camino College. These wonderful programs foster what my father stood for,” said Condoleezza Rice. “My father taught me that you can come from humble beginnings and do great things if you have an education. Nothing captured his imagination, passion and attention more than the California Community Colleges and the time he served as a member of the Board of Governors.”
Having been born to a Presbyterian pastor in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and living through years of segregation and the civil rights era, Dr. Rice was passionate about ensuring the California Community Colleges staff, faculty and student body reflected the diversity of California.
The award, given to individuals or programs, celebrates the profound impact Dr. Rice continues to have on the system. He served on the board from 1992 to 2000.
“Dr. Rice made it his mission to make sure every person who could achieve would get the help they needed to succeed,” said Chancellor Scott. “Today’s award winners are a testament to the fact that Dr. Rice’s ideals live on. He would be proud to see the diversity in our system. Our colleges mirror the diversity of California. After all, we are the college of the open door. ”
In addition to Rice and Scott, other speakers and special guests at the event included Dr. Rice’s widow Mrs. Clara Rice, Board of Governors President Debbie Malumed, President and CEO of the Foundation for California Community Colleges Paul Lanning, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell, Sacramento Bee Publisher Cheryl Elbright Dell and Sacramento Business Journal Publisher Joanna Wessman.
Clara Rice, Dr. Rice’s widow, attended the event and warmly recalled the memory of her late husband.
“I called John my ‘gentle giant’ not only because of his size but because of his enormous passion for equity and diversity.” She went on to say, “I’m sure he’s looking down today and smiling as he sees us gathered here to celebrate these programs, people and students with his daughter and me present.”
“Community colleges give all Californians an equal opportunity,” said Board of Governors for the California Community Colleges President Debbie Malumed. “I am proud to be affiliated with the largest system of higher education in the nation. We serve people from all walks of life and make their higher education goals a reality.”
The winners included the Transition to Independent Living Program at Taft College, which exemplifies the ideas of equity and diversity through the integration of students with disabilities into campus life.
It is the only residential community college program in the state that serves students with autism and intellectual disabilities. Students come from communities throughout California with unique demographic backgrounds which also adds to the campus diversity.
The Transition to Independent Living Program has gained national and international recognition based on the successful outcomes these students have achieved upon their completion of the program.
Eighty-nine percent of the students complete the two year program and of those students, 95 percent live independently and 89 percent are employed.
The other winner was Elaine Moore, one of the founders of the Project Success program located at El Camino College.
Project Success is dedicated to increasing the academic performance and graduation rates of inner city students transitioning to college. Her dedication to equity and diversity has helped El Camino College produce higher rates of African-American students who transfer to a California State University or University of California, more than at any other California community college.
Moore succeeds by promoting student centered learning and multicultural faculty, staff and peer mentoring. She is an accomplished faculty member and community leader.
Her efforts and dedication on behalf of Project Success have produced academic and student support services partnerships that have contributed to El Camino College’s ranking as number six among the California Community Colleges that graduate African-American students with associate degrees.
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.89 million students per year. The system is also the largest provider of workforce training in the nation. Nearly 25 percent of all the community college students nationwide are enrolled in a California community college.Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks at the 10th Annual John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Awards in Sacramento, Calif. , Monday, July 12, 2010. The award is named in honor of Rice's late father, Dr. John W. Rice, who was a former member of the California Community Colleges Board of Governor's. The Rice award is awarded annually to the individuals or programs that demonstrate outstanding contributions toward achieving diversity and equity within the community colleges.Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice talks with students from El Camino College's Project Success program, after it was awarded one of the John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Awards in Sacramento, Calif. , Monday, July 12, 2010. The award is named in honor of Rice's late father, Dr. John W. Rice, who was a former member of the California Community Colleges Board of Governor's. The Rice award is awarded annually to the individuals or programs that demonstrate outstanding contributions toward achieving diversity and equity within the community colleges. Project Success is dedicated to increasing the academic performance and graduation rates of inner city students transitioning to college.Rice for President Yahoo Group"Condoleezza Rice for President in 2012. Join this group of supporters from everywhere on the world wide web."