LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 15, 2019) – The University of Kentucky College of Medicine (UK COM) held its first annual gala sponsored by the UK COM Faculty of Color Network (FCN) on Oct. 18 at the Campbell House in Lexington. The proceeds from the gala, which was themed “Undeniable, Uncompromising, Unstoppable: Celebrating Diversity in Medicine and the Community,” will benefit the UK Center for Graduate and Professional Diversity Initiatives and The Nest Center for Women, Children, and Families.
Notable attendees included UK President Dr. Eli Capilouto, vice president of the Office of Institutional Diversity Dr. Sonja Feist-Price and Dr. Michael Rowland, the associate dean for Faculty Development in UK COM. FCN received additional support from the departments of family and community medicine, pediatrics, neurology, pharmacology and nutritional sciences, psychiatry and radiology), the UK College of Nursing, the Center for Health Equity and Transformation and the Office of the Vice President for Institutional Diversity. Community organizations such as the Bluegrass Care Navigators, Novelis and WesBanco also provided support.
This event also provides a means of celebration for the 70th anniversary of Lyman T. Johnson being the first African-American to integrate UK. The sense of community was pervasive at the gala; In a speech by President Capilouto, he acknowledged the sense of warmth and welcoming energy he felt in the room, noting that he had not been to a UK sponsored event such as this one.
Gala organizers, Drs. Sylvia Ofei and Brittany Smalls, intended for the gala to be an event for members of the UK family and community to come together to celebrate diversity and to build better relationships among community members.
“The event was really about bringing a sense of belonging and community to the University,” said Dr. Ofei. “The turnout really encapsulated everything we were trying to accomplish.”