AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - Auburn University Athletic Director Allen Greene is one of five individuals being honored by the NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee. The award, Champion of Diversity and Inclusion, is dedicated to those who work in supporting ethnic minorities and other underrepresented groups and individuals.

"What a tremendous honor to be recognized by the NCAA via the Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee," Greene said. "The acknowledgment of an individual's impact is the result of the impact of many, whereby the desire for change is stronger than the desire for one's personal gain."

Greene is also co-chair of the Black AD Alliance, which was formed last summer to create more opportunities for ethnic minorities at administrative levels in Division I athletics. 

The Champions of Diversity and Inclusion will be formally recognized along with additional recipients who are awarded later this spring at the 2021 Inclusion Forum, which will be held virtually from June 2-4.

The honor began in 2015, created to recognize those who have a commitment to advocating for and advancing others in inclusive efforts around athletics. Normally there is only one recipient chosen quarterly, but with the growing importance of social injustice and inequities in 2020, the MOIC and office of inclusion chose to honor multiple people.

The recipients were chosen based on how they promote diversity and inclusion, how they assist in diversifying pipeline opportunities in their influential position, how they provide support to underrepresented populations and their consistency supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives.

The other honorees are: Tommy Amaker, men's basketball head coach, Harvard; Jen Fry, community supporter, JenFryTalks; Jacqie McWilliams, commissioner, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and John Nicklow, president, New Orleans.

"As we move through this challenging time in our country's history, the committee wanted to recognize five people who lead from different seats within and around college athletics," said Dena Freeman-Patton, chair of the MOIC and deputy athletics director/chief operating officer at New Orleans.

"They have been champions for diversity and inclusion throughout their careers and continue to do what is right in 2021. They have been inspirations to our student-athletes and administrators in athletics, and they play a big part in molding our industry and our country. MOIC applauds them for their intentions and bravery in such unprecedented times. Leading with conviction and courage moves us all to a better place in athletics and certainly as we look to the future."