Illinois Central College Receives ACCT Central Region Equity Award

Illinois Central College (ICC) is proud to announce it is the recent winner of the 2020 Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Central Region Equity Award. This regional award recognizes the tremendous contributions made by community colleges and their leaders to meet the needs of their communities. The award was presented to ICC Trustees at their board meeting on September 24, 2020, by Jim Reed, Executive Director of the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA)It will be acknowledged again during the 2020 ACCT Leadership Congress online on October 8 when ICC will contend for top national-level recognition.  

“ICC is committed to equity and inclusion for our students, our employees and our community. We are thrilled to be recognized for our efforts,” said ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey. “We will continue to demonstrate leadership on racial justice issues and set policies that promote and enhance opportunities for diversity and inclusion that support equity for women, persons of color, LGBTQs and members of other underrepresented and underserved groups.” 

“ACCT is proud to shine a spotlight on some of the nation’s best public servants and professionals through our regional awards program,” said ACCT President and CEO J. Noah Brown. “The 2020 awardees reflect the extraordinary commitments and accomplishments of the people who dedicate their lives to helping students succeed.” 

ICC Board of Trustees Chair Carl Cannon said, “ICC has incorporated a number of initiatives at the College which include community and employee roundtables on racial disparities in college practices and policies; leadership and implementation of a new Workforce Equity Initiative targeting African Americans and other minorities and individuals living in disproportionately impacted areas; and structural changes to better support diversity throughout the institution.” 

In 2019, ICC was selected from a pool of 312 nation-wide applicants as one of 19 colleges to receive funding from Lumina’s Fund for Racial Justice and Equity. The grant was used to engage the college and community, study problems and prepare recommendations for creating a more equitable learning environment. In 2017, ICC was selected by Commonwealth Edison to implement a solar job training program to train low-income individuals as solar installers. Ex-offenders and the chronically unemployed groups receive priority.   

“Community colleges and their leaders have been vital to our country’s educational infrastructure and our workforce for over a century,” said ACCT Chair and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Trustee Dawn Erlandson. “This year, perhaps more than ever before, community college leaders have proved themselves to be essential community service providers and educators in the face of unprecedented challenges and adversity.” 

The ACCT is the nonprofit educational organization governing board, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees of community, technical and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. Their purpose is to strengthen the capacity of community, technical and junior colleges and to foster the realization of their missions through effective board leadership at loca(L-R) ICC Vice President of Workforce and Diversity Dr. Rita Ali, ICC Board of Trustees Chair Carl Cannon, ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey, ICCTA Executive Director Jim Reedl, state and national levels.  

For more information and a full list of award recipients, visit