Campus News Banner


UK Lends Another Hand in 9-11 Aftermath

By George Lewis

 

Small UK Logo

"After September 11, I felt so helpless to do anything that made a difference. Helping the people of New York as they struggle to decide the future uses for the World Trade Center site is my chance to show them that people in the heartland care."

-- Russ Williams, senior trainer in Human Resource Development at the University of Kentucky

Small UK Logo

July 18, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- Russ Williams, the senior trainer in Human Resource Development at the University of Kentucky, will arrive in New York City today as one of 500 volunteer facilitators specially chosen from around the nation to assist in "Listening to the City," a town meeting expected to attract about 5,000 people to the Jacob Javits Center.

The facilitators will assist participants' discussions as they choose among six proposals for reconstruction of the area. The owner of the property, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will use citizens' feedback from Saturday and a series of similar meetings to reduce the proposals to three and then one.

Williams, who is traveling at his own expense, said, "A volunteer opportunity like this comes once in a lifetime. After September 11, I felt so helpless to do anything that made a difference. Helping the people of New York as they struggle to decide the future uses for the World Trade Center site is my chance to show them that people in the heartland care."

"There will be 5,000 participants and 500 facilitators discussing the proposals. I expect that there will be conflicts and disagreements, but that's what makes the process so exciting."

Williams' facilitation brings UK's 9-11 involvement full circle. A few days after the terrorist attacks, UK computer programmer Leonard Lauria, through his affiliation with search-and-rescue agencies, volunteered to search for victims lost in the rubble.


Back to Campus News Homepage