Kathy Humphrey Honored for Leadership, Commitment to Social Justice

“How do you introduce a woman who needs no introduction?” Vice Provost and Dean of Students Kenyon Bonner asked 250 members of the University community gathered for the Equipoise luncheon in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room.

This year’s luncheon, hosted by the University’s Community for Black/African-American faculty and staff, honored Senior Vice Chancellor for Engagement and Secretary of the Board of Trustees Kathy Humphrey with the Martin Luther King Jr. Creating a Just Community Award.

“It is both recognition and encouragement,” Bonner told Humphrey. “It is recognition for all you have already done, and encouragement for all there is still to do.”

A just community

Bonner called Humphrey a “mentor more concerned with my personal life and well-being.” He recalled how he would prepare for short meetings with Humphrey during which he needed approval on a project. Before getting to business, though, Humphrey would first ask after his children, his doctoral work and his health.

Bonner highlighted Humphrey’s leadership in developing the Outside the Classroom Curriculum and establishing the University’s Community Engagement Centers and offices of Cross-Cultural and Leadership Development and Diversity and Inclusion.

“Your leadership speaks to your daily commitment to work toward social justice on our campus and in our neighborhoods,” Bonner said. “This award recognizes your personal and professional work to create a just community at the University of Pittsburgh and in the greater Pittsburgh area.”

‘Where everyone is valued’

Following his introduction, Bonner—along with Equipoise leadership and Katie Pope, interim vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion—presented Humphrey with the award.

“I am standing today here in a place of hundreds of faculty, staff and students who have collaborated with me as we created programs, services, incentives, facilities, contracts and resolution, all in an effort to create a more just community,” said Humphrey.

She recalled the environment her father had fostered when she was growing up: “A place where everyone is valued, where everyone is respected, where everyone is always welcome, where everyone feels that they belong.”

“My hope, my dream for Pitt is that we will create a culture of diversity, inclusion and belonging.”

  • From left: Interim Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion Katie Pope; Scholar Mentor and Equipoise Co-chair Lesha Greene; Senior Vice Chancellor for Engagement and Secretary of the Board of Trustees Kathy Humphrey; Vice Provost and Dean of Students Kenyon Bonner; and Steven Jones, special events staff member and Equipoise co-chair. (Aimee Obidzinski/University of Pittsburgh)
  • Kenyon Bonner introduced Kathy Humphrey, this year’s recipient of the Equipoise Martin Luther King Jr. Creating a Just Community Award. “Kathy, the towering woman full of life who has changed lives in ways that only she can with the perfect amount of kindness, motivation, work and passion,” said Bonner. (Aimee Obidzinski/University of Pittsburgh)
  • “Together, I believe that we can develop shared attitudes that will forbid the ill treatment of others in our community. I believe that we can demonstrate our institutional values by ensuring that all feel welcomed,” said Kathy Humphrey in accepting her award. (Aimee Obidzinski/University of Pittsburgh)