UK Happenings

UK to Host 2nd Annual Men of Color Symposium

Men of Color Symposium graphic.
The Men of Color Symposium will take place from Thursday, Feb. 4, through Friday, Feb. 5.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 29, 2021) — The University of Kentucky Martin Luther King (MLK) Center, in collaboration with the UK Office for Institutional Diversity and the Office of Student Success, will host the second annual Men of Color Symposium. The two-day symposium will take place from Thursday, Feb. 4, through Friday, Feb. 5. 

The theme of this year’s conference is “Promoting community, courage, care and connections.” The goal in establishing this theme is to promote unity among men of color and to offer sessions that will allow participants to participate in personal, career and community development. 

“The Men of Color Symposium provides our students, community members and regional partners opportunities to engage in conversations and topics that affect men of color each and every day,” said Jason Brooks, executive director for institutional engagement. “Since our last Men of Color Symposium in February 2020, men of color from around the nation have experienced a great magnitude of death through institutional structures, injustices, emotional and mental stressors due to the pandemic and rising unemployment because of the current state of our economy. The University of Kentucky prides itself in leading the state in discussions, program development and advocacy work for our students and those within our community. This symposium, in part, is the foundation of what’s to come from the University of Kentucky.”

Open to students and professionals across Kentucky and beyond, attendees will be exposed to renowned speakers, presented with insightfully themed sessions with applicable and practical information and opportunities to discuss building support for men of color.

The schedule for both days is as follows: 

Symposium Schedule Day 1

9:45 a.m.  Opening remarks

10-11:30 a.m.  Morning session 

Noon-1:30 p.m.  Keynote Address with former Kentucky Rep. Charles Booker

2-3:30 p.m.  Afternoon session 

Symposium Schedule Day 2

10-11:30 a.m.  Morning session 

Noon-1:30 p.m.  Keynote Address with attorney Benjamin Crump 

2-3:30 p.m.  Afternoon session 

In order to provide a safe opportunity for participation, the conference will be offered virtually with multiple sessions available. 

Click here to register for the 2021 symposium and for information on keynotes and breakout session presenters.

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.