UK Happenings

UK College of Education Symposium Examines Toll of Mass Incarceration

Gatton Student Center
The two-day symposium will take place at the Gatton Student Center.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 31, 2020) — A two-day symposium at the University of Kentucky will connect academic and community voices on issues surrounding mass incarceration. Organized by the UK College of Education, Punishing Trauma will examine the impact and consequences of punishment and surveillance on children, families and communities.

"Punishing Trauma looks at the systemic effects of racial disciplinary practices, public policy gaps, the criminal justice system and mental health disparities for marginalized students in their schools and communities. This symposium will continue the work of the late sociologist Devon Tyrone Wade and carries the title of his dissertation," said Serena M. Wilcox, UK College of Education postdoctoral scholar and event organizer.

Speakers will include community organizers and activists, policymakers, academic researchers and individuals directly impacted by mass incarceration and mass supervision.

“When someone goes to prison, the impact has a domino effect. As a College of Education, we want to peel back the layers, reveal the hidden toll being taken, and partner with community voices on how we respond,” said Margaret Mohr-Schroeder, UK College of Education associate dean for clinical preparation and partnerships.

The symposium will link the voices of those who work with, study and confront these pressing concerns.

“The trauma created when a family member is incarcerated greatly impacts the quality of life of thousands of children and teens. When it manifests in emotional, behavioral and academic ways, traditional forms of punishment often create more problems. Research shows the benefits of having access to restorative justice practices, counseling, drug treatment and other social services within the school setting. This is an opportunity for us to come together and move the conversation forward,” said UK College of Education Dean Julian Vasquez Heilig.

Register to attend the symposium, taking place Friday, Jan. 31 and Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Gatton Student Center on the UK campus.

UK Sponsors:

Office for Institutional Diversity

Lewis Honors College

College of Social Work

Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Center for Equality and Social Justice – College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Sociology – College of Arts and Sciences

Martin Luther King Center

Office of the Vice President for Research

College of Education

Office of Clinical Preparation and Partnerships – College of Education

External Sponsors:


University of Tennessee-Knoxville College of Social Work

Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA)-Lexington Chapter

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.