An Eastern Kentucky University faculty member has received the Individual Champion of Diversity Award from Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County.

Dr. Roger Cleveland, associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at EKU, was honored Oct. 3 at the League’s 48th annual Empowerment Banquet. The award recognizes an individual or business “that embraces, celebrates and applies holistic inclusion and participation of a diverse people.”

Cleveland is widely sought for his expertise in such areas as diversity, instructional equity, cultural competency, closing achievement gaps, learning styles, transforming school culture, conducting culture audits, and school improvement planning. He has led staff development events for many school districts, social service agencies, state educational agencies and universities and conducted training sessions addressing equity and culture issues from Alaska to South Carolina.

According to the League, Cleveland “has been at the forefront of diversity and inclusion for over a decade. He has facilitated the activities of high school diversity clubs, served as a diversity adviser, and as a moderator and presenter at over 45 various conferences promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.”

In 2014, Cleveland was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame. Two years earlier, he was honored by the Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education as Professor of the Year and was recognized among “Teachers Making a Difference at Eastern Kentucky University.” In 2013, the received the P.G. Peeples Equity and Equity and Excellence Achievement Award from the Fayette County Equity Council for his work in improving local schools.

Cleveland is the associate director of the Black Males Working (BMW) Academy at First Baptist Church of Bracktown. The Academy helps African American males prepare for colleges and careers through classwork, encouragement, supervision and field trips. He has also been actively involved with EKU’s Call Me MISTER Program, which encourages more African American males to enter the teaching profession. He is also a member of the Fayette County Public Schools Equity Council.

The Middlesboro, Kentucky, native, who joined the EKU faculty in 2008, also served two terms on the Commonwealth’s School Curriculum, Assessment and Accountability Council, and was appointed by Mayor Jim Gray to the Lexington-Urban County Human Rights Commission in 2013.

He is also president and owner of Millennium Learning Concepts Consulting Co.

The Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to assist African Americans and disadvantaged citizens in the achievement of social and economic equality.