Dr. Curtis Sartor Receives Elgin Humanitarian Award

Congratulations to Dr. Curtis J. Sartor for receiving the City of Elgin’s 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award during the City of Elgin’s 35th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast, held Saturday, January 20. The award recognized Dr. Sartor’s passion for following the leadership practices of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to advocate and give voice to minority populations within his professional and personal life.

In this role as Associate Vice President for Diversity and Spiritual Development, Dr. Sartor created a university-wide focus on racism and diversity by creating two Diversity Committees: one serving issues just related to the campus while the other including community leaders to inform and be informed about diversity issues in the Elgin community. His office developed a faith statement on diversity, which provides a foundation for the university’s approach to diversity on campus. 

Dr. Sartor also sponsors and mentors the Black Student Union, a student-led group that provides Judson minority students a community, identity and opportunities to educate and advocate among their peers and the campus. Additionally, Dr. Sartor has spoken in Chapel, led town hall meetings and used popular movies to have dialogue on diversity issues and explore the experience of being black today. He spearheaded awareness training for Judson faculty and staff to better understand implicit racial bias and microaggression in the community and in the classroom. These significant, meaningful activities have impacted the Judson campus and wider community.

“We are thrilled for Dr. Sartor to receive this recognition for his lifelong commitment to working on issues of unjust bias through organizational structures,” said Judson President Gene Crume. “He has led by example through his own professional accomplishments as a practicing architect and pastor. Judson has been blessed by his work as an educator and mentor to our students, inspiring and encouraging them to become leaders in their careers and communities.”

Dr. Sartor has taught as an architectural professor for 28 years, been a practicing architect with Architectural firms in San Francisco and Atlanta, and been involved with several national organizations on diversity committees or leadership. He obtained his Master’s degree in Architecture from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Ala., and his Ph.D. in Environmental Design from The Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio specializing in Cultural Anthropology and Multi-Cultural Studies.

Within his profession, Dr. Sartor has served on several diversity committees for national organizations where he has advocated for minority populations and professionals within the field of architecture. He was appointed to the Commission on Diversity & Inclusion by the President of the Council of Christian Colleges & Universities and served from 2016 to 2019; served on the National Board of Diversity and Inclusion Council for the American Institute of Architects from 2011 to 2013; and has been a member of the National Organization of Minority Architects since 2008. He was nominated for the prestigious National AIA Whitney M. Young Award by the AIA National Diversity & Inclusion Council in 2016.

Within the Elgin community, his roles at Judson University and Come As You Are Church, a multi-cultural ministry located in Elgin where he serves as pastor and youth pastor, have illustrated what it means to be part of a multicultural community. Through Come As You Are, he has served community nonprofits PADS and Wayside Ministry. He also represented his diversity focus when he served as commissioner for the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission from 2005 to 2008.

Dr. Sartor has published articles on diversity and architecture. He also wrote the book 20 on 20/20 Vision, Perspectives on Diversity and Design, published by American Institute of Architects Diversity Committee, the Boston Society of Architects and the Boston Architectural Center.

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