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Thursday, December 13, 2018

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Tanis King Starck is the assistant dean for special projects in SDSU's College of Education. (Credit: Tanis King Starck) Tanis King Starck is the assistant dean for special projects in SDSU's College of Education. (Credit: Tanis King Starck)

Honoring Commitment to Equal Rights

Tanis King Starck received a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work supporting LGBT and civil rights.
By Katie White

Tanis King Starck, assistant dean for special projects in San Diego State University’s College of Education, has been recognized for her long-time efforts in creating equality in the San Diego community. Starck received the Lifetime Achievement Award on Feb. 10 at the San Diego Bayard Rustin Civil Rights Honors, an annual event during Black History Month sponsored by the LGBT Community Center.

The award is named for Bayard Rustin, an openly gay civil rights leader. Rustin was a mentor and strategist for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and was a key figure of the 1963 March on Washington. In 2013, Rustin was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The San Diego Bayard Rustin Civil Rights Honors recognize individuals who have actively supported LGBTQ and/or black civil rights and equality for at least 10 years and whose legacy includes policy changes, reforms, or a body of work that may endure for generations to come.

“Dr. Starck’s work with SDSU’s thriving Intercultural Relations Center, including the opportunity to hold surveys, conferences and lecture series, which focus on LGBTQ, women’s issues and African diaspora is of particular note,” said Ian Morton, director of operations for the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, who nominated Starck for the award. “Through community leaders like Dr. Starck, we see the spark of understanding, fed with intelligent and thoughtful reasoning, propelling a narrative that unites, rather than divides, our San Diego community.”

Starck relocated to San Diego from New Orleans after she and her husband were displaced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She worked in the Division of Student Affairs for ten years, where she researched, designed and implemented unique programs that promote the appreciation of cultural diversity and foster intercultural and cross-cultural understanding. Among other things, Starck created the Cultural Competency Certificate, which consists of cultural diversity workshops, seminars, and service learning opportunities and serves as a national model.

In 2015, Starck became the assistant dean for special projects in the College of Education where she teaches classes in counseling and social change. She recently created a minor in cultural proficiency, which is the first of its kind in the California State University and University of California systems.

Starck said receiving the award is an honor and a privilege, as well as a reminder that everyone has a responsibility to serve and speak up for those who are marginalized.

“Society as a whole benefits immeasurably from a climate in which all persons, regardless of race or gender were afforded equal rights,” said Starck. “Each of us can practice civil rights every day, by treating each other without discrimination and hate, respecting and loving one another and fighting for those who are silenced.”

In addition to receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, Starck received special commendations from City Councilmember Christopher Ward and the San Diego City Council. She was also awarded certificates of recognition from Kevin Beiser, vice president of the San Diego Unified School Board; Todd Gloria, state assembly member; and Toni Atkins, state senator.