Campus & Community

Women’s College associate dean receives MLK lifetime achievement award

Arthur Jones, associate dean of inclusive excellence at the Women’s College of the University of Denver, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission. The award was presented to Jones on Jan. 15, during the 28th anniversary of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission Celebration.

Jones is well known in Denver for his role as chair of the Denver Mayor’s Commission on Cultural Affairs (2006–10) and as founder of the Spirituals Project.

Based at DU, the Spirituals Project is a multiracial, multigenerational organization that uses research, education and musical performance to raise awareness about historical oppression. According to Jones, the project began as a series of concerts, lectures and workshops focusing on the songs created and first sung by African-American slaves in the 18th and 19th centuries. Jones wanted to preserve what he calls “an important American cultural treasure.”

The Holiday Commission’s Lifetime Achievement Award is given to individuals and organizations “that have given freely from their hearts to others, who have given their talent, time and energy to meet unmet needs, stir hope, speak for the voiceless, and build a better world, if for just one person at a time.”

“I am deeply humbled and honored to be receiving this award,” Jones says, “an award named after a very special American whose teachings I have tried to honor throughout my personal and professional life.”

The commission typically presents only one Lifetime Achievement Award, but this year there are two recipients. The second award was presented to Bennie Williams, artistic director of the Spirituals Project Choir.

Jones has been with the University of Denver since 1991, when he was hired as a clinical professor for the clinical psychology PhD training program. He has been in his current position as associate dean since 2011. In addition to directing the Women’s College diversity and inclusion initiatives, Jones also is co-chair of the University’s Center for Multicultural Excellence’s advisory board.


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