Campus News

'Behind the Blue': Anastasia Curwood Discusses the Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 14, 2022) — In the fall of 2020, the University of Kentucky announced plans to establish the Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies (CIBS) — a multidisciplinary program designed to highlight UK’s growing research around issues of race and racism.

The interdisciplinary institute establishes research clusters across the campus and promotes the university’s growing research and scholarship on topics of importance in African history and African American history, such as slavery and the quest for freedom, racial discrimination and violence, and the long struggle for civil rights.

This year, the university announced continued annual funding of $200,000 through UK’s Office for Institutional Diversity — an important step forward in helping the institute achieve its goals.

On this episode of "Behind the Blue," Anastasia Curwood, director of CIBS and African American and Africana Studies (AAAS) at UK, talks about the continued mission of the institute, the connections that present day issues have to Black studies, a student body hungry for this kind of information, and more.

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify. Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email BehindTheBlue@uky.edu or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue. Transcripts for this or other episodes of Behind the Blue can be downloaded from the show’s blog page.

For more information about CIBS, including ways you can provide support, visit https://cibs.as.uky.edu/.

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The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.