Campus News

'Behind the Blue': A Conversation With J’Lissabeth Faughn, UK’s New Director of LGBTQ* Resources

Photo of J’Lissabeth Faughn.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 23, 2022) — During the month of June, Americans come together to celebrate Pride Month.

A commemoration of the Stonewall Uprising that took place in June of 1969, Pride is about many things: acceptance, tolerance, equality and raising awareness of issues that have and continue to impact the LGBTQIA+ community.

At the University of Kentucky, acceptance, tolerance and equity are at the core of everything we do. With resources like the Office for Institutional Diversity and the Office of LGBTQ* Resources, housed in the Office for Student Success, the university works diligently to be a welcoming environment — a campus that celebrates individuals of all backgrounds, identities and perspectives.

While the university commemorates Pride Month in April during the school year with a week of events, during June UK takes the month to reflect and acknowledge the important and ongoing work taking place to achieve equal justice and opportunity for Americans who identify as LGBTQIA+.

Recently, the university hired a new director of the Office of LGBTQ* Resources, J’Lissabeth Faughn (she, her, hers). Faughn brings a rich history of advocacy and community building from similar roles in California, Iowa and Missouri. With a passion for social justice and student development, Faughn hopes to continue the office’s legacy of creating a safe, open environment for all. 

In honor of Pride Month, on this week’s episode of "Behind the Blue," Faughn talks about how her journey of providing support to students led her to UK, her plans to continue the center’s legacy of creating a safe, open environment for all, 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 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. You can watch a video version of this podcast here.

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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.