Celebrating Diversity Month (CDM)

THEME: “Community Support for Underrepresented Groups” 

Monday, March 22, 2021 – Sunday, April 18, 2021 

Committee: Institutional Affairs

Chair: Staci McGill 

Event Lead: Olumuyiwa Moses Desmennu, GSC Cultural Sensitivity Chair 

The new Graduate Student Congress (GSC) program series “Celebrating Diversity Month” invites University of Kentucky (UK) faculty, staff, and students to engage in discussion and activities around diversity and inclusion. This month-long initiative comes at a time when our nation and community continue to challenge systemic barriers to equity and inclusivity.  GSC will host a variety of opportunities for participants to learn about and embrace the complex layers of culture and identity and the intersectionality that makes us unique.  GSC hopes to cultivate a sense of belonging, particularly for underrepresented groups, and empower all participants to become allies and advocates.  As the larger institution continues to make progress to make our campus diverse, equitable, and inclusive, the GSC presents three projects:   

  • a Virtual Pop-Up Museum to communicate and visually illustrate the diversity of backgrounds that enrich UK;  
  • a Cultural Libraries Book Project, to collect titles and provide free access to books from underrepresented authors and on ideas related to diversity and inclusion; and  
  • a Community Dialogues event series in collaboration with several minority organizations and philosophers at UK, to coordinate deep conversations about the complex ideas and histories surrounding diversity and inclusion.  

The GSC believes that the CDM program series will encourage the UK community to reflect on its history, membership, and existing infrastructure, as well as hold compassionate and transparent conversation about diversity and inclusivity in higher education. 

Virtual Pop-Up Museum 

Submissions Open: Monday, April 5, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. EST 

Submissions Close: Friday, April 30, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EST

Viewing Opens: TBD

The Virtual Pop-Up Museum is an online exhibit designed as a space welcoming people to digitally display personal artifacts and communicate narratives relating to our individual heritages and/or sense of personal identity. This is a chance for individuals to share about how their lived experiences have shaped the sense of who they are today.  These narratives are especially important for those who have experienced marginalization or alienation or to challenge existing narratives to tell more than just one story. All UK graduate and professional students are invited to voluntarily submit digital copies of cultural artifacts important to them (e.g., jewelry, clothing, furniture, recipes, songs, stories, etc.) to put online for display in a museum-like aesthetic. Each artifact will have a caption with a short narrative from the submitter explaining what the item is, why they chose to share it, and how it represents a part of their identity or background. The names of the individuals who submit to the inaugural opening of this virtual pop-up museum will be honored by having their names engraved on a plaque that will be hung in the Clarke Graduate Study of the William T. Young Library.  

What can be submitted? 

Virtually anything in digital format that can be uploaded is accepted.

How to submit? 

  1. Submit on the Jotform below.  
  2. There's an option to record up to 10 minutes of speech, upload video, image, etc.  

Submission Guidelines 

  • The Special Collections Research Center and the Virtual Pop-up Museum can accept just about any format you create.   
  • Questions to Consider: 
    • What is the significance of the item(s) that you are submitting?  
    • What personal story are you comfortable sharing that this object reminds you of?   
    • What is daily life like for you?   
    • How has your identity shaped how you approach your professional school or research topic distinct from your peers?   
    • What else would you like people to know about your experiences and feelings of who you are and how that has shaped your UK experience?    
  • You can record an audio story, you can upload files, you can type out your story, or you can do any combination of these three options.   

Submission Form 


Example Submission 

Biographical note: Edward Lo (he/him) is a 4th year PhD candidate in geological sciences at UK and was raised in Acworth, Georgia. He has been a department representative to the Graduate Student Congress (GSC) for two years and a Student Government Association representative on the GSC Executive Board.

Experience: His lived experience as a Brazilian Asian American growing up in the United States allowed him to feel connected with overlapping communities. Most people identified him by his Taiwanese heritage, yet he felt more strongly attached to a Brazilian cultural identity. This ambiguity effectively excluded him from both, as well as the White, Black, and Latinx spaces that he encountered. At UK, he converted this feeling to work broadly for minoritized and marginalized student communities. As he approaches his fifth year in the PhD program, he looks forward to continuing this work as a faculty member.

Item description: Undated photo of Edward Lo as Safety Patrol captain with the school counselor and his sister Kathrene outside Acworth Elementary (now Acworth Intermediate) School. Following the shootings on March 23, 2021 targeting Young's Asian Massage Parlor, he was distraught that this latest anti-Asian hate crime happened just a few miles from his childhood home. This latest massacre feels so numbing, after we've lost so many black lives to police and school children to shooters, the sinister reality is that we're supposed to mentally forget these deaths, treat their losses as "lone wolf" or "bad apple" incidents, ignore the continuing patterns of violence, and move on. The hateful violence that we learned in history courses never disappeared; no, it just morphed and blended into our society as we masquerade in a purportedly post-racial America.

Cultural Libraries Book Project 

Books Available for Checkout: Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Cultural Libraries Book Project will see the development of a free library book collection filled with works addressing issues of social justice, inclusion, and diversity that will help educate curious minds about the CDM project series themes, as well as provide direct access to scholarship and narratives from marginalized populations. Book suggestions have been solicited from several offices and organizations at UK, including UK Libraries, the MLK Center, the Center for Equality and Social Justice (CESJ), and the Center for Graudate and Professional Diversity Initiatives (CGPDI), among others. We expect the books to generate opportunities for discussion and collaborative learning across all members of campus beyond CDM, and the GSC plans to maintain this collection into the future. 

What titles have already been suggested? 

  • “Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia” by Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs
  • “Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream” by Sara Goldrick-Rab
  • “The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion (Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Series, Book 1)” by Sara Rose Cavanaugh
  • “Teaching the Literature Survey Course: New Strategies for College Faculty (Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Series, Book 2)” by James M. Lang, Gwynn Dujardin, & John A. Staunton
  • “Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education (Teaching and Learning in Education Series, Book 3)” by Thomas J. Tobin & Kirsten T. Behling
  • “How Humans Learn: The Science and Stories behind Effective College Teaching (Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Series, Book 4)” by Joshua R. Eyler
  • “Geeky Pedagogy: A Guide for Intellectuals,  Introverts, and Nerds Who Want to Be Effective Teachers (Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Series, Book 5)” by Jessamyn Neuhaus
  • “Intentional Tech: Principles to Guide the Use of Educational Technology in College Teaching (Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Series, Book 6)” by Derek Bruff
  • “Teaching about Race and Racism in the College Classroom: Notes from a White Professor (Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Series, Book 7)” by Cyndi Kernahan
  • “Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto (Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Series,  Book 8)” by Kevin M.Gannon
  • “Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead) (Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Series, Book 9)” by Alfie Kohn
  • “Diversity and Motivation: Culturally Responsive Teaching in College” by Margery B. Ginsberg & Raymond J. Wlodkowski
  • “Teaching Race: How to Help Students Unmask and Challenge Racism” by Stephen D. Brookfield
  • “Life of the Mind Interrupted: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education” by Katie Rose Guest Pryal
  • “Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom” by bell hooks
  • “Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope” by bell hooks
  • “Feeding the Other: Whiteness, Privilege, and Neoliberal Stigma in Food Pantries” by Rebecca de Souza
  • “Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America” by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
  • “Kindred” by Octavia E Butler
  • “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race” by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • “Red at the Bone: A Novel” by Jacqueline Woodson
  • “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing” by Dr. Joy DeGruy
  • “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander
  • “The Fire Next Time” by James Baldwin
  • “Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches” by Audre Lorde
  • “Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood,  Identity, Love and So Much More” by Janet Mock
  • “Who We Be: The Colorization of America” by Jeff Chang
  • “Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement” by Angela Y. Davis
  • “My Grandmother’s Hands: Radicalized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies” by Resmaa Menakem
  • “Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and It’s Urgent Lessons for Our Own” by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
  • “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo
  • “Race, Equity, and the Learning Environment: The Global Relevance of Critical and Inclusive Pedagogies in Higher Education” by Frank Tutt, Chayla Haynes, and Saran Stewart
  • “Intersectionality and Higher Education: Identity and Inequality on College Campuses” by W. Carson Byrd, Rachelle J. Brunn-Bevel, and Sarah M. Ovink
  • “Whiteness, Power, and Resisting Change in US Higher Education: A Peculiar Institution” by Kenneth R. Roth and Zachary S. Ritter
  • “From Equity Talk to Equity Walk: Expanding Practitioner Knowledge for Racial Justice in Higher Education” by Tia Brown McNair, Estela Mara Bensimon and Lindsey Malcom-Piqueux
  • “Understanding White Privilege: Creating Pathways to Authentic Relationships Across Race” by Frances E. Kendall
  • “Contested Issues in Troubled Times: Student Affairs Dialogues on Equity, Civility, and Safety” by Peter M. Magolda, Marcia B. BaxterMagolda, and Rozana Carducci
  • “For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood… and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education” by Christopher Emdin
  • “Race and Social Change: A Quest, a Study, a Call to Action” by Max Klau
  • “The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart” by Alicia Garza
  • “Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race” by Beverly Daniel Tatum
  • “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States” by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  • “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo
  • “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America” by Ibram X. Kendi
  • “Words That Wound: Critical Race Theory, Assaultive Speech, and the First Amendment” by Mari J. Matsuda
  • “The Myth of the Missing Black Father” by Dr. Roberta L. Coles and Dr. Charles Green
  • “Race Matters” by Cornel West
  • “The Man-Not: Race, Class, Genre, and the Dilemmas of Black Manhood” by Tommy J. Curry
  • “They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South” by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers
  • “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi
  • “Silent Covenants: Brown v. Board of Education and the Unfulfilled Hopes for Racial Reform” by Derrick Bell
  • “Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement” by Kimberle Crenshaw, Neil Gotanda, Gary Peller, and Kendall Thomas

How can I find and check out one of these books?

Coming soon! 


Community Dialogues 

Friday, March 26, 2021: Opening Keynote Presentation 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021: Panel on "Community Support for Underrepresented Minority (URM) Groups"

Friday, April 16, 2021: Panel on "Celebrating the International Student Community at UK"

Friday, April 16, 2021: Closing Keynote Presentation  

The Community Dialogues event series is designed to bring attention to cultural sensitivity. The goal of these events is focused on generating a mutual understanding, building tolerance, and creating ally-ship among underrepresented groups and the rest of the UK community. 

Friday, March 26, 2021 

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST 

“Justice Language and Community Radio” by Victor Palomino (Station Manager, RadioLex) 
Moderator: Brandon Colbert, Bias Incident Support Services (BISS) 

This presentation will focus on how to create space to communicate and amplify the voices of non-English speakers in the community during normal times and emergencies.  We'll be talking about the bilingual work of RadioLex on the FM and the multilingual projects during the pandemic. Including collaborations with UK faculty. 

Victor Palomino is a radio producer, visual artist and community activist born in Bogotá, Colombia. Palomino has been working for 20 years with community radio stations in N.C and K.Y opening the airwaves to underrepresented communities. He is currently the Station Manager at RadioLex, a bilingual community station broadcasting in two dials in Lexington, K.Y. and www.radiolex.us  and host of RadioLex Noticias Comunitarias 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 

12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST 

Panel on "Community Support for Underrepresented Minority (URM) Groups"
Moderator: Mia Morales, Assistant Director of Center for Equality and Social Justice (CESJ) 

The purpose of this panel is to discuss what it means to identify as a part of an underrepresented minority (URM) group, and what that experience is like, not only at UK but anywhere in the world. Panelists will be asked about the challenges they face, as well as the strengths they have developed, the opportunities they have encountered, and the meaning they have found being a member of an URM group. 


  • Kendriana Price – Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Related Sciences 
  • Dr. Kayla Johnson – College of Education, Department of Educational Policy Studies & Evaluation 
  • Yan Wang – President of Asian/Asian American Club  
  • Maya Horvath (Undergrad)
  • Jeffrey Mitchell (Grad Student)

Friday, April 16, 2021 

12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST 

Panel on "Celebrating the International Student Community at UK" 
Moderator:  Katherine Counts, GSC President

The purpose of this panel is to discuss what it means to celebrate and support the international student community, including what it’s like to be an international student, not only at UK but anywhere in the world. Panelists will be asked about the challenges they face, as well as the strengths they have developed, the opportunities they have encountered, and the meaning they have found as a member of the international student community. 



  • Fernan Rodrigo Perez Galvez 
  • Cheng “Sara” Qian 
  • Chukwudalu “Great” Umenweke 
  • Kia Markussen 

5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST

“The Spirit of Revolution: Developing a Community of Support for Marginalized Groups at Predominantly White Institutions” by Sarah Williams 
Moderator:  Edward Lo, Graduate Student Leader

Moving beyond a celebration of diversity towards a community of support for those of us minimally reflected in the student body and campus culture of predominantly white institutions, requires us to shift our sight to a remembered way of being. To mobilize community towards achieving mutual goals, we must develop a shared vision. We will discuss how organize and execute a call to action and examine how we can mobilize a community to achieve mutual goals. 

Sarah Williams is a civic change agent, grassroots organizer, doula, urban farmer, and co-founder of Peoples Blueprint, Wild Fig Healing Collective, and Cooperation Lexington. Sarah believes that change begins at the most local of levels and that our deepest work is internal versus external. Her current work includes organizing around issues of gentrification, police brutality and accountability, food justice and birth justice. Sarah’s work ranges from building community through Juneteenth celebrations and community cleanups organized annually by Juneteenth Lexington since 2016, to leading nonviolent civil disobedient direct actions pushing for systemic change. Sarah’s organizing efforts have assisted in securing body cameras for the Lexington Police Department, mitigated the harmful effects of gentrification in her neighborhood, and contributed to the mayor’s formation of the Commission on Racial Justice and Equality, tasked with dismantling systemic racism in Lexington, Kentucky. Sarah believes her greatest accomplishment is raising the next generation of revolutionaries through mothering her six children. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master’s in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities, and a Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Western Kentucky University.