“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” — Frederick Douglass, Abolitionist
In my time at this university, it has never been more necessary nor more important to have an office dedicated to uniting, serving and amplifying the diverse individuals that form the fabric of our campus. Indeed, our community is a beautiful tapestry of identities, perspectives, backgrounds and ideas.
Our mission, values and vision compel us to be a place that does not oppress, but uplifts. We must not degrade, but dignify.
I would like to thank Dr. Sonja Feist-Price for her remarkable service at a time when leadership has never been more critical to our understanding and progress. Her commitment to serving UK’s students — particularly our minority populations — has elevated the health and well-being, not only of individuals on our campus, but the health and spirit of our community.
As interim vice president for institutional diversity, I’m honored to follow Dr. Feist-Price and work to build upon her considerable legacy.
In anticipation of the fall semester, the university already is underway with a comprehensive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Implementation Plan — a road map to take action in racial reconciliation and justice.
The aim of the Office for Institutional Diversity is to supplement and support these efforts. We will build upon the office’s collaborative outreach and recruitment efforts to enhance the overall culture of achievement for students and employees of diverse backgrounds and ideas.
And, in doing so, we must remember that our work is never finished. Rather, it is a lifelong process of learning, unlearning and acting with intention to build a better future for all.
I look forward to serving the university, which has been so central to my life, in this new role. I hope to hear from you — a valued member in this tapestry of perspectives — to understand how we can better serve our institution, our students and our Commonwealth.
George C. Wright