UK Happenings

CHSS to Hold Panel Discussion on Vaccine Hesitancy, Political Polarization

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 18, 2022) — On Tuesday, April 19, the Cooperative for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky will host a panel discussion on vaccine hesitancy and political polarization within the Lexington community and across the Commonwealth.

The panel is co-sponsored by the Center for Health Equity Transformation and the UK College of Medicine Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

“This presentation brings together public health practitioners from the community and a scholar from UK to discuss how to promote COVID-19 vaccinations among diverse populations in the Commonwealth of Kentucky in an atmosphere of heightened political distrust and polarization,” Karen Petrone, director of CHSS, said. “It is a great example of how CHSS can help find solutions to pressing social issues.”

The panel discussion, to be held from 7-8:30 p.m. via Zoom, is open to the public and will feature four speakers:

  • Kacy Allen- Bryant (commissioner of social services, LFUCG); 
  • Mark Peffley (professor, Department of Political Science);
  • Tiffany Scott (Faith Moves Mountains); and
  • Isabel Gereda Taylor (Global Lex, Mayor’s Office, LFUCG)

The discussion will focus, in part, on methods and practices the City of Lexington has implemented to promote health and wellness within underrepresented populations.

“For example, with the international population, it’s critical for us to have relationships with members of our international communities, especially with trusted community leaders,” Taylor said. “We want to gather as much need as much information as possible about our entire community to better serve them and provide access to health benefits and programs.”

In addition to community leaders, Taylor also believes political scientists can provide valuable insight on political polarization in relation to vaccine hesitancy. 

“When it comes to health messaging, we want to know what is working worldwide. It’s very important to have that cultural understanding,” she explained. “I hope this conversation will be the beginning of a powerful collaboration.”

Registration is required and can be completed here.

For more information, please contact Karen Petrone or visit the CHHS website.

About the Cooperative for the Humanities and Social Sciences

CHSS fosters interdisciplinary connections among UK faculty members and graduate students — bringing scholars together across departments and disciplines. The cooperative also facilitates engagement with local, state, national and international communities. The goal is to demonstrate the contributions and value of the humanities and social sciences in sustaining communities and solving critical issues.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.