Student and Academic Life

MLK Center, Enrollment Management to Host Diversity Leadership Summit

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2019) — In an effort to support, encourage and inspire students to achieve the unexpected, the University of Kentucky Martin Luther King Center, in partnership with Enrollment Management, is hosting the first annual Diversity Leadership Summit, Thursday, Nov. 7. The summit is free and open to Kentucky college students and prospective multicultural high school juniors and seniors.

"The Diversity Leadership Summit encourages all students to achieve the unexpected while establishing a standard of excellence in all that they seek to accomplish," said Jason Brooks, director of the MLK Center. "Whether it’s through scholarship, leadership, professional development or service, the conference is meant to energize current and prospective college students to believe that anything is wildly possible."

This summit will be the first of its kind for the MLK Center and Enrollment Management. With a mission to empower UK students from all communities to improve their college experience, organizers believe the summit will provide a culture of civic dialogue and a campus-wide "brave space" for students to develop their cultural identity and leadership skills. 

”The Diversity Leadership Summit provides students an opportunity to grow their leadership skills in an interactive, support environment alongside their peers plus learn more about what it takes to become a Wildcat," said Chaquenta Neal, undergraduate admissions recruiter. "The fact that they can experience this alongside current college students is just the icing on the cake.”

Learning outcomes of the summit include: 

  • developing an appreciation for inclusion through self-awareness and consciousness of social and global issues;
  • encouraging the cultivation of civic responsibility and well-being through interpersonal interaction and communication;
  • expanding their knowledge base, so it stimulates application of pluralistic behavior and promotes reflection; and
  • preparing students to lead in a global society and inspire social change.

The summit will feature breakout sessions for attendees to network and a variety of guest speakers who will discuss topics ranging from culturally responsive leadership to student activism. Guest speakers include:

  • MrJeffDess,
  • Latoya Green,
  • David Edward Garcia, 
  • Sydney Blocker, 
  • Ruth González Jiménez,
  • Antonio Talamo,
  • Joseph Shepard, 
  • Tony Dontson,
  • Stephanie Nance,
  • Walter Malone and
  • Adrianna Fisher-Willis.

To register for the summit and for more information on the schedule of events, click here

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 three 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" two 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 four 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.