CLEVELAND, Miss.—Delta State University’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee is sporting a fresh look thanks to the creativity of a DSU student.
Lucia Chacon, a senior Graphic Design major at DSU, developed a new DEI logo in response to a logo design contest hosted during the Spring 2021 semester.
Open to students of all majors, the competition was organized to give DSU students an opportunity to have their voices and artwork represent the values of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at DSU.
In addition to having her work adopted as the official DEI logo, Chacon also received a $200 prize.
According to Chacon, an international student from Guatemala, the new logo’s design invokes the “home away from home” feeling DSU imparts on its students.
“The logo is inspired in the feeling of shelter Delta State evokes on people,” she explained. “It represents a safe space where everybody is welcomed and embraced. The simple design is meant to show progress in the understanding of diversity in all its shapes.”
Delta State President William N. LaForge agrees.
“What a perfectly simple and elegant way to express Delta State’s welcoming nature and our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion for all,” he said. “I thank the logo committee, and especially the winning design creator, Lucia Chacon, for bringing this logo to life.”
Following her initial submission, Chacon worked with the DEI Committee to finalize the design before it was officially announced on May 11.
A panel of judges comprised of DEI members as well as other campus constituents who are experts in various areas selected the winning design. The panel included: Instructor of Marketing Lisa Cooley; Marketing Coordinator Holly Ray; K’Na Rose, a senior Interdisciplinary Studies major and Social Justice Club member; Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Kayla Selby; Associate Professor of Marketing Zina Taran; and Assistant Professor of Art/Printmaking Robyn Wall.
DEI Committee Chair Michelle Johannsen said the new logo is not only representative of the University, but also the values reinforced by the DEI Committee.
“Everybody is welcome and belongs at Delta State University,” she said. “The logo sub-committee received excellent designs from DSU’s talented students. Ultimately, Lucia Chacon’s design skillfully conveyed the guiding values of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and its work. We are excited to adopt her design as we continue working toward a more equitable and inclusive campus community.”
In 2007, a task force, appointed by former DSU President John M. Hilpert, met to develop a strategy to initiate a long-term plan related to diversity. To fulfill one of the recommendations of the task force, in Nov. 2007, Professor Georgene Clark was appointed by the Hilpert to serve as coordinator of diversity activities and as chair of the Diversity Advisory Committee.
The Diversity Committee, composed of 12 people representing departments and divisions across campus, was established in January 2008. The charge to the Diversity Committee was to work with the entire campus community to set the university agenda for diversity—planning, employment practices, services and programs. Included in that work was to establish a mission statement; assess the campus climate regarding diversity and other related issues; arrange opportunities for development across campus; and assist with strategies that broaden personnel searches.
Since then, under the leadership of Presidents Hilpert and President LaForge and Chairs Georgene Clark (2008-2014) and Arlene Sanders (2014-2020), the committee’s dedicated faculty, staff, and students have worked tirelessly to fulfill its original purpose. Revised in 2020 as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and chaired by Johansen, the committee has grown significantly and continues to work towards a more just and equitable campus community.