• Article
  • Apr 07 2023

UNITE Research Showcase to highlight racial equity work at UK

Photo provided by UNITE RPA.

The University of Kentucky’s UNited In True racial Equity (UNITE) Research Priority Area will host its second annual research showcase on Tuesday, April 18. The 2023 UNITE Research Showcase is centered around elevating and promoting the importance of racial equity research at UK, across the Commonwealth and beyond.

The event will take place 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, at the Gatton Student Center. While the event is free, registration is required for all attendees. The showcase is open to UK faculty, staff, students, affiliates and academic partners.

Melissa Harris-Perry, Ph.D., the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, will deliver the Irma Sarett Rosenstein Lecture sponsored by the UK College of Social Work.

Harris-Perry teaches courses on American politics at the intersections of race, place, and gender. For nearly two decades, Harris-Perry has contributed to American public life through her scholarly analysis of race, gender, politics, and power, which was featured on her own show on MSNBC.

Harris-Perry is also the founder and president of the Anna Julia Cooper Center and co-host of the podcast “System Check” from The Nation. She is the author of award-winning books, including “Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America.”

The UK Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies is sponsoring the afternoon keynote address from Nicole Fleetwood, Ph.D., the inaugural James Weldon Johnson Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication in the Steinhardt School at New York University.

Along with being a MacArthur Fellow, Fleetwood is a writer, curator and art critic whose interests include Black cultural history, prison abolition and carceral studies, and poverty studies. She is the author of “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration” and the curator of the traveling exhibition.

You can find more information about the keynote speakers and the agenda online here.

Throughout the showcase, UK researchers will feature their racial equity work during breakout sessions designed to illustrate the relevance and impact of their ongoing scholarship. Highlights include:

Promoting Health Equity

Center for Health Equity Transformation (CHET) Director Nancy Schoenberg, Ph.D., will moderate a panel featuring:

  • Meredith Duncan, Ph.D. - “Developing a More Equitable Risk Prediction Model for Cardiovascular Disease”

  • Adebola Adegboyega, Ph.D. - “Experiences of African American and Sub-Saharan African Immigrant Black Women in Completing Pap Screening: A Mixed Methods Study”

  • Laneisha Conner, Ph.D. - HIV & Aging: Prevention Needs and Actions”

Examining the Impact of Racial Discrimination on Economic Progress

Jennifer Bird-Pollan, J.D., the associate dean of academic affairs and Judge William T. Lafferty Professor of Law at the UK J. David Rosenberg College of Law, will moderate a panel featuring:

  • Shuoli Zhao, Ph.D. - “Evaluating Consumers' Willingness to Support Minority Entrepreneur Farmers”

  • James Ziliak, Ph.D. - “The Song Remains the Same: Five Decades of Stalled Economic Progress among Black and Rural Americans”

  • Caroline Weber, Ph.D. - “Racial Equity & Cannabis Legalization Policy”

Communicating Strategies to Advance Social Justice Work

UK College of Education’s Candice Hargons, Ph.D., who is the interim department chair, will moderate a panel featuring:

  • ZaDonna Slay, D.S.W. - “Leveraging my Lived Experiences through Research, Teaching, and Learning”

  • Fatima Espinoza Vasquez, Ph.D. - “Addressing Information Access Inequality from Below During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Building an Alternative Sociotechnical Infrastructure with the Latinx Community”

  • JWells, Ph.D. - “The Continuum of Motherhood in a Carceral State”

Exploring Youth Education with an Equity Lens

Kenneth Tyler, Ph.D., associate dean of Inclusion and Internationalization in the College of Education, will moderate a panel featuring:

The UK College of Arts and Sciences will also sponsor a poster session for UK faculty, trainees and students. Topics include arts and humanities, economics and law, education, health equity and social justice.

The student and trainee poster session will be a competition, with prizes awarded to the top three posters in the graduate/postdoctoral and undergraduate categories.

You can find the full agenda and parking information online here.

The 2023 UNITE Research Showcase is sponsored by the College of Social Work, Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies, College of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Nursing, Carol Martin Gatton College of Business and Economics, College of Public Health, College of Law, Markey Cancer Center, College of Communication and Information, The Graduate School, UK Libraries, Center for Health Equity Transformation and College of Education.