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The University of Kentucky College of Educationand Kentucky Humanities recently produced a workshop, "Safe Students, Empowered Educators: Dismantling Hate & Violence in Schools," at the UK Gatton Student Center. The workshop was part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture initiative. 

“We created programming to provide teachers with tools needed to be more confident in advancing civic engagement, social cohesion and cross-cultural understanding in the classroom,” said Margaret Mohr-Schroeder, Ph.D., professor of STEM Education and senior associate dean for academic programs and partnerships, UK College of Education.

UK faculty, as well as several Kentucky leaders, participated as speakers and facilitators in this day-long workshop featuring hands-on workshop sessions, keynotes, and roundtable discussions.

Among the featured speakers was Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of young adult and middle grade fiction and social justice advocate. Stone spoke to dozens of Kentucky K-12 teachers, school administrators, and teachers-in-training at the conference about how the work they do creating belonging for students is vital. While in Lexington, Stone also visited Tates Creek High School where she chatted with students and signed copies of her books provided to each student by Kentucky Humanities.

“I knew Stone would be an empowering keynote speaker for our workshop participants. Her bestselling novel, “Dear Martin,” is a book that several librarians from Kentucky know well, and after her talk there was a line wrapped around the Gatton Student Center as participants waited patiently to buy a book from Barnes & Noble and get it signed. It was really moving to witness Stone’s generosity as she engaged with each educator who came through her signing line, asking questions and offering encouraging words,” said Mariama Lockington, research administrative coordinator in the UK College of Education’s Office of Clinical Preparation and Partnerships.

Additional speakers and discussion leaders from UK included: 

  • Kwame Agyemang, Ph.D., George and Betty Blanda Endowed Professor in Sport Leadership, UK College of Education 
  • Christia Spears Brown, Ph.D., professor of psychology and associate dean, UK College of Arts and Sciences 
  • Rachel H. Farr, Ph.D., associate professor of developmental psychology, UK College of Arts and Sciences  
  • Rasheed Flowers, Ph.D., assistant professor of kinesiology and health promotion, UK College of Education  
  • Calah Ford, Ph.D., assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, UK College of Education 
  • Whitney Hanley, Ph.D., assistant professor of special education, UK College of Education 
  • Joni Meade, M.Ed., clinical instructor of curriculum and instruction, UK College of Education 
  • Mark Samudre, Ph.D., assistant professor of special education, UK College of Education  
  • Francis Musoni, Ph.D., associate professor of history and director of international studies, UK College of Arts and Sciences 
  • Kristin V. Monroe, Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology and director of graduate studies, UK College of Arts and Sciences 
  • Shannon Plank, anthropology lecturer, UK College of Arts and Sciences 

For a complete list of speakers and discussion leaders, visit