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MCC among nine colleges nationwide honored with supplier diversity award

March 10, 2021
By Lisa Kalell

Chris Kelly, MCC supplier diversity program coordinator
Chris Kelly, MCC supplier diversity program coordinator

Metropolitan Community College has been honored with the 2021 Jesse L. Moore Supplier Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. MCC was one of nine colleges and universities nationwide to receive the inaugural honor.

The award recognizes higher-education institutions taking proactive steps to support and engage with minority-owned businesses through supplier diversity offices, unique programs and leading initiatives. INSIGHT Into Diversity is the only print diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.

"Working with diverse suppliers supports our business objectives and strengthens the economy of our community," MCC Chancellor Kimberly Beatty says. "One of our goals is to ensure that MCC purchasing efforts reflect the diversity of the Greater Kansas City area's local business community."

MCC expanded its diversity and inclusion efforts in 2008 when it launched a full-time supplier diversity program, ensuring minority- and women-owned, local and small businesses are included in the College's procurement process.

Chris Kelly, MCC supplier diversity program coordinator, counts the award's namesake as a mentor. Moore is an economic development pioneer and was the first director of supplier diversity at Purdue University.

"Jesse opened the door for effective training in supplier diversity tailored specifically for those serving educational institutions, when no other organization could understand the challenges faced in this industry," Kelly says. "Jesse changed that. He filled the gap."

The 2021 Jesse L. Moore Supplier Diversity Award recipients were selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on their efforts to engage and retain suppliers from underrepresented groups. Each year, trillions of dollars are spent on goods and services by institutions of higher education, and this award was designed to honor colleges like MCC that support diverse suppliers in their communities and beyond.

"When it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion, colleges and universities have traditionally put their resources into recruiting and retaining diverse students and employees. However, there is a third leg of DEI that focuses on supplier diversity," says Holly Mendelson, co-publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity.

"The INSIGHT Into Diversity Jesse L. Moore Supplier Diversity Award, named in honor of longtime advocate and economic development pioneer Jesse L. Moore for his leadership in promoting supplier diversity and the success of minority-owned businesses, is our way of ensuring this critical area of DEI also gets recognized for the important role that it plays."