The University of Kentucky (UK) rests on the dispossessed lands of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Osage, and Shawnee people. With recognition and respect, we live and work in these ancestral lands, as well as those of the Delaware, Mosopelea, Wyandot, and Yuchi people.
The faculty and staff of the Department of Educational Leadership Studies (EDL) at the University of Kentucky recognize significant and unimaginable acts of violence and injustice have occurred both in the past and present to Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, women, gender-nonconforming persons, people of faith, and Appalachian peoples. Our hope is to prepare students who lead educational communities dedicated to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Deficit narratives have led to decreased social support, continued segregation, over-policing, and a state of colorblindness and neutrality that is dangerous. We stand in solidarity with our historically excluded, oppressed, othered, enslaved, and persecuted families, friends, and neighbors whose pain is too deep, too long, and too often denied. We affirm that Black Lives Matter, and recognize the intersections invoked with this explication of justice while renouncing white supremacy.
We recognize that there is work to be done; therefore, we continue to consider ways injustice exists within our community, in addition to working, teaching, and learning environments. As we do so, we will bring awareness to not only those historical injustices (which permeate society), but to the historical injustices that reinforce contemporary oppressions and injustices inside and outside of our classrooms.
We commit to:
- Incorporating anti-racist content into our program curricula and syllabi.
- Confirming the inclusion of diverse voices in our course readings and with our invited speakers.
- Participating in professional learning to develop our own personal awareness, understanding and consciousness of racial and other systemic and institutional inequities, and facilitating difficult conversations around racial and social injustice.
- Discontinuing use of the GRE in the admission process given its limitations and weaknesses in determining student success in graduate school.
- Adopting evidence-based practices which promote a diverse and talented student body.
- Reinforcing the fact that leadership to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice matters in our courses and with our actions.
Our Department of Educational Leadership Studies at the University of Kentucky is dedicated to being increasingly aware of inequities and discrimination, becoming more diversified, and contributing to the work underway.