Diversity Weekend Celebrates the 'Us' in UK

Diversity Week at UK

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 27, 2017) When two international student groups thought to plan an event celebrating the diversity of the University of Kentucky student population, they went to the university’s International Center, the office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) and the UK Office of Institutional Diversity for assistance.

There, the students found the help they needed to plan Diversity Weekend, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, a three-day weekend event the entire campus can enjoy. After all, who doesn’t like ice cream, football and extraordinary entertainment?

The African Students Association (ASA) and the International Student Leadership Team (ISLT) partnered during the spring semester to plan and submit a proposal for the upcoming special diversity event. The Office of Institutional Diversity provided the funds for the event through an Inclusive Excellence Program Grant.

The ASA is a cultural, social and philanthropic student organization that welcomes anyone from Africa, connected to Africa or interested in African culture and issues. ISLT, a group of nine undergraduate student leaders, works with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) and other departments to develop and promote events and programs for international and domestic students. With a variety of cultural, academic and social events — like the upcoming Diversity Weekend — ISLT provides an environment to build a sense of belonging at UK.

Diversity Weekend was created to foster and display the diverse cultures present on the UK campus and in the Lexington community. Through collaborative programming, the Diversity Weekend planners hope to foster a greater sense of belonging for all students on campus.

The schedule for the three-day festivities is:

  • Friday, Sept. 29
    • Ice Cream Social - 3 p.m., Pieratt Intramural Fields. The event will feature international field games and highlight some international ice cream flavors.
    • Lecture - 7 p.m., Briggs Theatre. This lecture highlights the diversity and importance of art in a global context.
    • Art Exhibition - 8 p.m., UK Art Museum. Attendees will have an opportunity to view art the university collection as well as the Alison Saar exhibition "Breach."
  • Saturday, Sept. 30:
    • International Tailgate - Begins 2 p.m., at the Tobacco Research Lawn. This is a great opportunity to highlight the UK football team while providing an opportunity for all students to find a greater sense of belonging.
    • UK Football Game - 4 p.m., Kroger Field. Students will be able to go to the game together as a group to cheer on the Wildcats.
  • Sunday, Oct. 1:
    • Cultural Market - noon-4 p.m., Memorial Hall Amphitheater, Erikson and Funkhouser Lawn. The event features student performances from around the globe. The Cultural Market will highlight international foods from local restaurants in Lexington. Space will be set aside for diverse student organizations to share information with the campus about upcoming events and ways to get involved at UK.

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) provides leadership and expertise in the advising and immigration needs of more than 2,000 international students and over 500 international faculty, staff and exchange visitors. ISSS also administers university compliance with evolving federal regulations, supports the university and the UK Medical Center by managing global student and scholar interactions, and facilitates the well-being of all international students, faculty, staff and scholars.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue