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Our Community. Our Shared Values.
By Dr. Eli Capilouto

Last week I was privileged to be a part of a conversation with two dozen Black and African American undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in my home. Although this gathering had been on the calendar for several weeks, the timing was ideal for the three hour dialogue that occurred.

It was an essential moment for me and other members of our leadership team to hear from our students, in their own words, what they experience on our campus. They shared their hopes for themselves, their friends, and their futures; and they laid bare the uncertainty, anxiety, and — in many cases — fear that comes day-after-day with being a member of an underrepresented part of our UK family. I am grateful for their willingness to be honest, open, and straight-forward as they shared their lived experiences with us.

Please click here for more from the President's Blog from UKNOW

UPDATE! President's Blog - Memorial Hall Mural: a Chance to Heal Wounds, Gain Broader Perspective

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Office of LGBTQ* Resources
The Office for Institutional Diversity is proud to welcome Lance Poston as director for the newly formed Office of LGBTQ* Resources. Lance joined the University of Kentucky family in May 2015 as the inaugural Director of LGBTQ* Resources. Born in the US South, Lance is excited to be back in the land of sweet tea and delicious potato salad. He received an undergraduate degree from Presbyterian College and a master's degree in history from Ohio University (OU). Before becoming a Wildcat, he was a faculty member in the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at OU where he is also a PhD Candidate in history. Lance is a trained oral historian with research interests in the intersections of race, religion, and sexuality in the US

With the creation of this program, UK will continue to fucos its efforts to create a more inclusive, diverse environment for all students, faculty and staff. For more information, please visit the Office of LGBTQ* Resources website.

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Racial Conflicts Discussed at UK
Two films highlighting America's racial conflicts will be shown on the University of Kentucky campus this week, with time scheduled for discussion afterward.

At 6 p.m. today, the documentary "Let the Fire Burn," will be shown at the UK Athletics Auditorium in William T. Young Library, followed by a panel discussion hosted by the UK Martin Luther King Center and the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and the African American and Africana Studies Program.

"Let the Fire Burn" recounts the 1985 tragedy when Philadelphia police, with authorization from the mayor, responded to a stand-off with a black liberation group the city was trying to evict from its communal house in West Philadelphia by dropping a firebomb on the roof, burning the house to the ground and killing 11 MOVE members, five of them children. In the process, they also burned down an entire block of the predominantly African-American neighborhood, leaving 61 houses destroyed and 250 people homeless.

In addition, a poster session analyzing the contemporary Black Lives Matter movement is slated concurrently in the adjacent Alumni Gallery. The poster presentations focus on recent killings of unarmed black people in the United States. The posters were researched and created by students enrolled in Melissa Stein's class, "Crime & Punishment: Race & Ferguson in Historical Context."

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Photo of Transgender Day of Remembrance

UK College of Nursing, UK Office for Institutional Diversity Highlight Transgender Health Disparities
Social stigmas, discrimination and infringement of civil rights have led to health care disparities impacting individuals who are transgender.

According to UK College of Nursing assistant research professor Amanda Fallin, members of this population have higher rates of smoking, higher rates of drug abuse and higher rates of HIV infection than the general population. In addition, a recent study indicated that 41 percent of transgender people have considered or attempted suicide. Sixty percent of the participants in this study reported a doctor or health care provider had refused to treat them.

Transgender Remembrance Day on Nov. 20 brings visibility to acts of violence and bigotry experienced by transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. The UK College of Nursing and the UK Office for Institutional Diversity’s Office of LGBTQ* Resources will spread awareness of the health disparities affecting members of the transgender community in the lead up to Transgender Remembrance Day Nov. 20. Representatives will distribute resources on promoting equality and inclusivity on UK’s campus and in health care settings from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the common area outside the UK College of Nursing.

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"Big Blue Family" VIDEO: Jim and Lydia Wims Help UK Students Succeed

University life holds a special place in the hearts of Jim and Lydia Wims.

As first-generation college students, both were heavily involved in residence life at Kent State University, where they met and eventually married.

They began raising their kids while working at Lincoln University in Missouri. Today, they both work on the University of Kentucky campus serving students in two unique roles. Jim serves as the associate vice president for student affairs while Lydia is the director of student support services.

For more on this story, please visit UKNOW!