The Association of Zoos and Aquariums recognizes the value of human diversity (including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs and political or other ideologies) in all endeavors.
Through the Angela Peterson Excellence in Diversity Award, AZA recognizes significant achievement in work force and audience diversity by an AZA member institution. Applicants may submit an entry for any diversity program designed to increase diversity through education, training, community service, recruitment and retention, interpretative exhibition, public relations, and marketing.
The award recognizes the most significant innovative, productive, far-reaching, program to promote diversity in institutions throughout AZA. Therefore priority will be given to significant, comprehensive programs. Programs designed as one-time or special events for single implementation will not be considered. Programs must be active at the time of submission to be eligible for this award.
If there is any question as to what constitutes an eligible project, please email Barbara Pueschel or call 301-244-3326.
2019 Application and Guidelines are below for reference. 2020 Applications and Guidelines will be posted early in February 2020 and will be due on Monday, June 1, 2020.
Diversity Award application (DOC)
Guidelines for submission (PDF)
Remember to submit a Media Release Form (DOC) with your application.
All Honors and Awards applications must be submitted in electronic format ONLY and must be compiled into one PDF file. Please make sure the file name reflects both the award name and the institution.
AZA has contracted with Webcargo to provide a quick and easy way for you to submit your application. Send your application via Webcargo.
See past recipients' application materials (member log in required)
2018 Significant Achievement
Wildlife Conservation Society for Project TRUE (Teens Researching Urban Ecology)
Akron Zoological Park and Birmingham Zoo for Sensory Inclusive Zoo Initiative
2017 Top Honors
John G. Shedd Aquarium for All Are Welcome: Accessibility and Inclusion at Shedd Aquarium
2017 Significant Achievement
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens for W.I.L.D. (Wildlife Immersion and Leadership Development) Program
Utah's Hogle Zoo for Zoo Just for You
2016 Top Honors
Chicago Zoological Society for A Zoo for All
2015 Significant Achievement
Detroit Zoological Society for Inclusive Experience
2014 Significant Achievement
Wildlife Conservation Society for Bridging the Gap: The Effects of a School-to-Career Approach to Promoting Wildlife Science Careers Among Minority Students
2013 Top Honors
Chicago Zoological Society for Cultivating Conservation Communities
2013 Significant Achievement
Monterey Bay Aquarium for Watsonville Area Teens Conserving Habitats (WATCH)
2012 Top Honors
Indianapolis Zoo for Minority Purchasing Initiative
2012 Significant Achievement
2011 Top Honors
Wildlife Conservation Society for Wildlife Career Center
2010 Top Honors
Houston Zoo, Inc. for Target Title 1
2009 Top Honors
Milwaukee Zoological Society and Milwaukee County Zoo for Programs for Disadvantaged Youth
2008 Top Honors
Oregon Zoo for Zoo Animal Presenters (ZAP) Urban Nature Overnights (UNO)
2007 Top Honors
Wildlife Conservation Society / Bronx Zoo for After-School Adventures in Wildlife Science
2007 Significant Achievement
Monterey Bay Aquarium for Young Women in Science
2006 Top Honors
South Carolina Zoo for High School Intern Program
2005 Top Honors
Denver Zoo for Wonders in Nature - Wonders in Neighborhoods