LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — Following a recent violent and racist assault at the University of Kentucky and students repeated calls for change — President Eli Capilouto gave an update on the university’s ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts.
“Yes. We have done work in the last couple of years to move closer to being a community of belonging for everyone. But there is more to do. There will always be more to do. We need to communicate better about the steps we have taken. We also need to continually redouble our efforts and our vigilance to support our students and employees of color, our fostering inclusion for all members of our community,” said Capilouto.
He went on to say the university needs to support faculty and student-led efforts in creating more diversity and inclusion. Plans to do that are already being made including adding dedicated spaces in residence halls and around campus and making an increased commitment to include mental health support.
In a news release, UK provided an update on its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Focusing on diversity and inclusive focused spaces, mental health support, and DEI officers.
“Several initiatives completed or well under way include our $10 million in university investment for our UNITE Research Priority Area, DEI learning modules for students in our UK 101 courses and supporting small, minority-, woman- and veteran-owned businesses and vendors through our Supplier Diversity Program. Faculty in our African American and Africana Studies program — and other units — have long been engaged in this hard work as well, and we need to support and amplify their efforts,” reads the news release.
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“We want to be a place where everyone feels like they are safe and belong. That requires us to confront challenges and barriers to being that community. It will require the courage to talk with each other and understand both where we are making progress, but also where we have continued to fall short,” Capilouto wrote in the news release.