Berklee Receives INSIGHT Into Diversity 2023 HEED Award

This is the second consecutive year that Berklee has been named a recipient of the award.

November 7, 2023

Berklee has received the 2023 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the HEED Award, a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, Berklee will be featured, along with 108 other recipients, in the magazine's November/December 2023 issue. 

“Fostering a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community of belonging takes continued work from all members of the community, and this acknowledgement of our collective efforts motivates us to continue on our path for a more equitable Berklee for all students, faculty, and staff all over the world,” said Lacretia Johnson Flash, Berklee's senior vice president for DEI, community, and campus culture, and climate. 

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees, and best practices for both, leadership support for diversity, campus culture and climate, supplier diversity, and many other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

To build on the momentum of winning the HEED Award in 2022, Berklee restructured the Diversity and Inclusion Department to become the new Community, Campus Culture, and Climate Division, led by Dr. Flash, with a leadership team composed of Mariana Paes, senior advisor and senior project manager; Sarah Onori, assistant vice president of equity and Title IX coordinator; and Alex Cabal, assistant vice president of diversity and inclusion.

Other recent milestones and initiatives focused on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion include the following:

DEI Training and Programs

Berklee recently launched Get Inclusive, an online learning platform that provides faculty and staff with comprehensive mandatory self-paced training on foundational diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts. The project is the result of a collaboration between the Community, Campus Culture, and Climate Division; Human Resources; Faculty Development; and Information Technology Services. 

Continued Success of the Berklee City Music Program

A community outreach program that enables youth from underserved communities to develop musically, academically, socially, and emotionally, primarily through the study of contemporary music and the performing arts. In 2022, eight full-tuition scholarships were awarded at Berklee City Music Concert to young musicians from underserved communities in Boston. Since its inception, the City Music program has awarded more than 250 four-year, full-tuition scholarships, totaling over $30 million. In addition, 100 percent of City Music summer scholars graduated from high school, 97 percent of whom are enrolled for fall enrollment at college, 100 percent by 2024. 

New Student Programs

The Student Success Division introduced SOMOS Latinx, a new pre-orientation program for entering students who are part of or have a demonstrated interest in the Latinx and Hispanic diaspora, and RISE, Berklee's first dedicated support program for first-generation students.

Learn more about diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at Berklee. 

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