The University of Michigan Women of Color in the Academy Project will present its ninth annual Shirley Verrett Award to Daniel Washington, professor of music (voice) at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Daniel Washington

Washington is being recognized for his significant support and advocacy on behalf of diverse students and faculty artists at U-M, and innovative diversity and inclusion impact on U-M and beyond through his performances and service.

Washington will receive the award at a ceremony on a date yet to be determined.

Washington, a bass-baritone, also is an honorary professor of humanities at the University of Cape Town South African College of Music, and was a vocal teacher at the Luzern (Switzerland) Conservatory of Music.

He is an expert on African-American classical music and spirituals and has received national and international awards for artistry. He recently launched the annual Lucy Washington­­ Annual Vocal Competition in Summerville, South Carolina.

Washington was senior adviser to the dean and associate dean for faculty and multicultural affairs, and a Center for Institutional Cooperation Leadership fellow.

A national leader in achieving a critical mass of minorities and women in the arts and academy, Washington received the Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award and was a member of the President’s Advisory Committee for Women at U-M.

The Shirley Verrett Award was created in 2011 by the Office of the Senior Vice Provost in honor of the late Shirley Verrett, a U-M professor who “would have walked the world over for her students,” organizers say.

Verrett was a James Earl Jones Distinguished University Professor of Voice at SMTD and an internationally acclaimed opera singer with more than 40 roles during the course of her four-decade career. She was one of the pioneering leaders in the generation of black opera singers, and her legacy continues to pave the way for female artists from diverse backgrounds.

The award is administered by WOCAP and housed at CEW+.

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