UCA receives a Supplier Diversity Award

CONWAY — The University of Central Arkansas received the Jesse L. Moore 2022 Supplier Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education today.

The Award is a national recognition honoring colleges and universities that take proactive steps to support and engage with minority-owned businesses through supplier diversity offices, unique programs and leading initiatives. Winners will be showcased in the April issue of the magazine. 

“Success in supplier diversity at UCA has occurred due to cross-campus collaborations,” said Angela Webster, UCA’s chief diversity officer. “UCA’s Minority Vendor Partnership Initiative is under the auspices of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, but the Division of Outreach and Community Engagement, as well as the Division of Finance and Administration, the Physical Plant and the purchasing office, have served as dynamic campus partners.”

Each year, trillions of dollars are spent on goods and services by institutions of higher education, yet there is little recognition of the contributions colleges and universities are making to support diverse suppliers in their communities. The INSIGHT Into Diversity Jesse L. Moore 2022 Supplier Diversity Award recipients were based on their efforts to engage and retain suppliers from underrepresented groups.

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected UCA because the university has initiated a variety of longstanding initiatives such as professional development sessions, expos and showcases that offer both education and exposure to minority business owners.

The Minority Vendor Partnership Initiative also received funding from the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas to conduct and publish a study on the challenges and opportunities for women of color in business. Through the Women’s Empowerment Hub, some women received $5,000 in capital for their businesses. Kristy Carter, director of marketing for Outreach and Community engagement and principal investigator, continues to make presentations about the results of this research around the state. 

“When it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), colleges and universities have traditionally put their resources into recruiting and retaining diverse students and employees — however, there is a third leg of DEI that focuses on supplier diversity.  The INSIGHT Into Diversity Jesse L. Moore Supplier Diversity Award, named in honor of longtime advocate and economic development pioneer Jesse L. Moore for his leadership in promoting supplier diversity and the success of minority-owned businesses, is our way of ensuring this critical area of DEI also gets recognized for the important role that it plays,” said Lenore Pearlstein, co-publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity.

A call for nominations for this award was announced in December 2021. 

For more information, visit insightintodiversity.com