Clark's Special Advisor for Diversity and Equity receives community award
Sirius Bonner, Clark College special advisor for diversity and equity, was presented with the Compass Award at the Urban Spark Collective’s fourth annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Breakfast, held January 18 in Clark College’s Gaiser Student Center.
The Compass Award is given to an individual or organization that carves a new path for diversity and inclusion in education, in the workplace, or through community engagement. As Special Advisor for Diversity and Equity, Bonner advises and supports Clark College’s Executive Cabinet, College Council, Cultural Pluralism Committee and the entire college community. Since joining Clark in 2011, Bonner has introduced new programs to the college; brought a sharper focus to issues of power, privilege and inequity; overseen the opening of a new Diversity Center on the main campus; and expanded the number of opportunities for faculty, students, and staff to build their skills.
Bonner earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts degree from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Before coming to Clark, she served as the Director of Multicultural Recruitment and the Multicultural Affairs Student Program Coordinator at Reed College and later as the Assistant Director of New Student Programs for Diversity Recruitment at Portland State University.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Breakfast is sponsored by a number of community organizations. The event is the brainchild of community activist Deena Pierott, who is the founder of diversity executive search firm Mosaic Blueprint. This year, the breakfast had a surprise guest: U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia), who worked with Dr. King in the Civil Rights movement, spoke to the assembled guests. In her remarks upon accepting the Compass Award, Bonner said she was inspired by Rep. Lewis, noting that he had inspired her to “get into trouble” in the quest for equity for all people.
Vancouver Mayor and Clark alumnus Tim Leavitt presented the award to Bonner. The event keynote speaker was Dr. Alisha Moreland-Capuia, an Oregon native and psychiatrist at Oregon Health & Science University.
Photo: Clark College/Jenny Shadley