Bill and Ida Stewart Award for Racial Justice

During each academic year, University of Minnesota Morris students, faculty, and staff may be selected to receive the Bill and Ida Stewart Award for Racial Justice. Bill Stewart touched the lives of thousands of Morris students and championed the concerns, needs, and accomplishments of students of color. Under his leadership, the Minority (now Multi-Ethnic) Student Program provided academic assistance, financial aid, and student support services to improve minority student opportunities on campus. Bill’s wife, Ida Stewart, served the campus as a faculty member, education coordinator, and academic advisor. She is known for establishing World Touch Cultural Heritage Week and the Women of Color Association as well as connecting the campus to broader communities.

This award recognizes faculty, staff, and students who have displayed exemplary service on our campus in support of promoting racial justice, a supportive climate for all people, and positive, lasting change. The recipients’ names will appear on a plaque to be located in the TMC. More than one recipient in the same university affiliation may earn the award.


All current students, faculty and staff, no matter their length of employment or study, are eligible for nomination of this award. Tenured and tenure-track (regular) faculty, term (non-regular) faculty, P & A, Civil Service, AFSCME Clerical, AFSCME Technical, Teamster, Law Enforcement (LELS), and temporary and casual staff may be nominated for the Bill and Ida Stewart Award for Racial Justice. Students, faculty, and staff may also nominate themselves. Previous nominees who did not receive the award may be re-nominated. Previous winners of this award may not be re-nominated.


Nominees will be evaluated on the basis of documentation of outstanding contributions to the support and enhancement of racial justice at UMN Morris. The documentation should provide specific evidence of outstanding performance in one or more – not necessarily all – of the criteria listed below, but the list should not be considered exhaustive or restrictive. The selection committee will consider any and all kinds of outstanding contributions to UMN Morris's diverse community so identified and demonstrated by the materials provided. The magnitude of an outstanding contribution in one area may compensate for little or no contribution in other areas. The Award will be based on sustained efforts over the course of the nominee’s Morris time, rather than a single accomplishment, in areas such as:

  • promotion of racial justice at UMN Morris
  • involvement in intercultural activities
  • activism in promoting diversity
  • engaging peers/colleagues in diversity activities
  • achievement in the area of recruitment and retention of underrepresented students, faculty and staff for the Morris campus

Additionally, the dossier will be evaluated with respect to effectiveness, impact, sustainability and initiative. In all cases, it is not the activity in itself, but the energy, the creativity, and the effectiveness of the activity that constitute outstanding contributions to diversity at UMN Morris.

Nomination Process

Dossier Guidelines and Selection Process

Any faculty, student, and staff can nominate themselves or any other faculty, student, or staff. Awards need not be made each year if no candidate is deemed worthy. The award recipients will be announced at the Awards program in April. They will further be recognized at the appropriate spring honors events. The dossier must contain the following items. At the minimum, a total of TWO letters (each 1-2
pages with a 12-point font type) is required.

Nomination letter

A statement letter making a convincing and detailed case for the nomination based on the nominee’s outstanding contributions to enhancement of diversity over the course of his/her time at UMN Morris. It should describe the nominee’s qualifications with specific reference to the criteria above (or others being used) and their relevant activities and accomplishments. Examples should be provided that relate clearly to the above stated criteria.

Supporting letter

At least one supporting letter citing specific examples in support of the case. At least one of the letters must be from a UMN-Morris student, faculty, or administrator. Additional letters may also be from either UM-Morris community members or outside of the UMN-Morris campus community

Nominate someone for the Bill & Ida Stewart for Racial Justice Advocacy Award

Award Types