UK Happenings

UK Social Work hosting 22nd annual Rosenstein Lecture April 18

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 17, 2024) — On Thursday, April 18, the University of Kentucky College of Social Work (CoSW) will hold the 22nd Annual Irma Sarett Rosenstein Lecture. This year's event, featuring journalist and columnist Juan Williams, will take place at 8 a.m. in the Gatton Student Center (Grand Ballroom AB).

The lecture is named for Lexington social worker Irma Sarett Rosenstein. Until her passing in 2015, she led the fight against social injustice in Central Kentucky. The lecture, intended to celebrate Rosenstein's remarkable legacy, will feature a national voice on positive social change.

In addition to being an award-winning columnist, Williams is a New York Times best-selling author for his book, “Eyes on the Prize” America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965,” a companion to the documentary series of the same name about the civil rights movement.

During his 23 year-career, Williams has served as a investigative journalist, White House correspondent, editorial writer, columnist and magazine writer — interviewing U.S. presidents and members of the Supreme Court and Congress, as well as civil rights and global leaders.

“The Irma Rosenstein Lecture Series encapsulates all that is social work, and we look forward to continuing to bring these experiences to our communities for many years to come.” Jay Miller, dean of the CoSW, said. “We would like to thank the Rosenstein family for their ongoing support and partnership in providing what is sure to be a thought-provoking and insightful lecture.”  

This year’s Rosenstein Lecture is being held as part of the 2024 UNITE Research Showcase, which aims to elevate and promote the importance of research and critical inquiry across the Commonwealth.  

The lecture and showcase are free and open to UK faculty, staff, students, affiliates and partners. Those interested in attending are required to register here.

More about Rosenstein

Rosenstein was a social worker at UK Chandler Hospital and taught in the CoSW, where she worked closely with the first dean of the college, Ernest Witte. She is well-remembered for bringing an ethos of openness and clarity to the college and community issues.

Rosenstein did not shirk from addressing racism. She was the driving force behind the Kentucky Conference of Christians and Jews — now called the Kentucky Conference for Community and Justice (KCCJ). The organization is dedicated to building community. Rosenstein also hosted one of social work’s most prominent leaders, Whitney Young, at a KCCJ dinner when no public places outside of UK were desegregated.

Thanks to a generous gift from Rosenstein and her family in 2002, the CoSW has been providing research-based and practice-driven lectures by distinguished national speakers each year on UK’s campus.

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.