Professional News

Registration Open for Free ‘Education as a Civil Right’ Virtual Conference

Explore the most pressing issues of our time through multiple tracks taking place during the three-day virtual conference.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2022) — Register now to attend the free virtual conference "Education as a Civil Right — Truth, Justice and Equity for All," taking place online April 7-9.

The conference is hosted by the University of Kentucky College of Education's Education and Civil Rights Initiative, in collaboration with the NAACP. Registration is free thanks to the sponsorship of WesBanco, with additional support from partners including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University.

"This virtual conference is for anyone who has an interest in ensuring every child, from the time they start school all the way to the finish, has equitable access. Necessities such as education, health care and financial literacy, those are civil rights," said Gregory Vincent, who holds both a law degree and doctorate of education, is a professor in the UK College of Education Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, and is executive director of a groundbreaking collaboration between the UK College of Education and the NAACP, the nation’s largest and most preeminent civil rights organization. "We must bridge the fault lines between the haves and have nots. We must also set examples for young people who will pick up this work in the next generation, showing how they, too, can make a difference in their own communities."

Explore the most pressing issues of our time through multiple tracks taking place during the three-day virtual conference, including:

  • Law & Justice Track*
  • PK-20 Educator Track*
  • Community Organization Track
  • Post-Secondary Track
  • Financial Literacy Track

*Continuing education credit is available upon request.

"We have gathered a variety of voices to bring context and insight into the trends and issues we see play out in the news and in communities every day," said Sarah LaCour-Yarbrough, who serves as assistant director of the Education and Civil Rights Initiative, housed at the UK College of Education Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, where LaCour is an assistant professor. "They will also help shine a light on issues within the broader story, giving perspective on what is not always part of the narrative, but that should be, in order to make a difference. By bringing this group of experts together to dialogue with community participants, we will reach not only policymakers but also citizens who want to play a role in creating positive change within their communities, one step at a time."

Featured speakers include:

  • Julian Vasquez Heilig,  dean of University of Kentucky College of Education and professor of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation;
  • Professor Carl Smallwood, director of the Divided Communities Project, Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University;
  • Natalie Cofield, assistant administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership;
  • Luis Ponjuan, professor and IDEAL research director, Texas A & M University;
  • Gregory Vincent, professor and executive director of the Education & Civil Rights Initiative, University of Kentucky;
  • Sarah LaCour-Yarbrough, assistant professor and associate director of the Education & Civil Rights Initiative, University of Kentucky;
  • and many more.

The conference will be hosted virtually via WHOVA and Zoom. Register now to confirm your free ticket. The full conference agenda will be posted soon. In the meantime, if you have questions or wish to sponsor the event, please email CivilRightsInstitute@uky.edu.

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.