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Natawsha Mitchell Receives UW’s Stanford Commitment to Diversity Award

February 18, 2015
young woman holding award and standing by photo on easel
Natawsha Mitchell of Torrington recently received the Willena Stanford Commitment to Diversity Award at the University of Wyoming. (UW Photo)

Natawsha Mitchell of Torrington was named the recipient of the University of Wyoming’s 2015 Willena Stanford Commitment to Diversity Award. Mitchell is a senior majoring in history and is seeking a minor in African American and Diaspora Studies.

Mitchell, a 2011 Torrington High School graduate, is the daughter of Megan Mitchell and granddaughter of George and the late Margo Nash, all of Torrington.

According to one of her nominators, Mitchell has played a pivotal role in “fostering a culture of racial inclusivity and diversity on our campus through political education.” She also has “tremendous skill as an organizer” and has been a key player in several successful demonstrations in support of social justice at UW.

As the current Associated Students of UW (student government) director of diversity and outreach, Mitchell consistently speaks on legislation in support of, and in solidarity with, underrepresented students.

She also has worked to improve the campus climate at UW, particularly concerning mental health services. After leading a benchmarking initiative similar to one at Colorado State University, she developed a task force to help assess current services and needs, as well as create an action plan to best support UW students.

Mitchell accepted her diversity award at the annual Willena Stanford Community Supper in the Wyoming Union following the recent Martin Luther King Jr. Days of Dialogue week of events. More than 120 UW and community guests commemorated the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the dinner and honored Stanford, an inspirational former UW instructor in African American and Diaspora Studies. She also was a past member of the MLK Days of Dialogue steering committee.

In recognition of her many contributions to UW, the late Harriet Elizabeth “Liz” Byrd -- a longtime Cheyenne educator and Wyoming legislator -- was remembered through the words of Tracey Patton, UW African American and Diaspora Studies program director.

This year’s Willena Stanford Award nominees also included Jasmine Austin, Carencro, La.; Brian Dominguez, Victor, Idaho; Lindsey Haines, Rock Springs; Norma Lira-Pérez, Jackson; Jose Rivas, Gillette; Robert West, Cheyenne; and Richard Yang, Laramie.

Last year’s recipient was Ahmed Balogun, current ASUW president, and previous winners include Jaryd Unangst, Arla Mistica, Sydney Ezell, Zanyaille Lyons, Helen Changthongthip, Adriana Magana, Jeremy Joseph and Tracy Montanez. 

For more information about the Stanford Award, email mlkdod@uwyo.edu or visit www.uwyo.edu/mlkdod.


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