The 2022 UNITE Research Showcase

2022 UNITE Research Showcase

Dr. Keiko Tanaka presents during the “Sustainable Social Justice Advocacy” Breakout Session; Ms. Rayven Peterson, Dr. Hadeel Ali, Dr. Brittany Miller-Roenigk, Mrs. Jovonna Atkinson, and Ms. Jimmi Nicholson attend the 2022 UNITE Research Showcase; Dr. Sarah Cprek looks on while Dr. Isaac Woods presents during the “Achieving Equitable Education: Holistic Approaches to Academic Success” Breakout Session; Dr. Lovoria Williams presents during the poster session; President Eli Capilouto, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, and Dr. Danelle Stevens-Watkins - Dr. Hill spoke during the Irma Sarett Rosenstein Lecture; Paris Wheeler poses with her door prize; Dean Jay Miller introduces the Irma Sarett Rosenstein Lecture; Dr. Diane Francis, Dr. Shemeka Thorpe, and Dr. Nancy Schoenberg look on while Dr. Lauren Whitehurst presents during the “Advancing Health Equity with Evidence-Based Research” Breakout Session; Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew presents “Just Health: Treating Structural Racism to Heal America” during the lunch keynote


On Wednesday, May 4, 2022, UNITE hosted the 2022 UNITE Research Showcase - centered around elevating and promoting the importance of racial equity research at the University of Kentucky, across the Commonwealth, and beyond. This event, which was held in the Gatton Student Center, was open to UK faculty, staff, and students – in addition to UK affiliates and academic partners. Over 180 attendees across 15 academic colleges gathered to hear keynote addresses from national leaders in their fields, breakout sessions presented by local researchers, and a poster session designed to highlight the impactful work of our faculty and students. 



Irma Sarett Rosenstein Lecture

Marc Lamont Hill, PhD

Professor, Temple University
Host, BET News, Al-Jazeera UpFront, and Coffee & Books podcast

Dr. Marc Lamont Hill is one of the leading intellectual voices in the country. He is currently the host of BET News, Al-Jazeera UpFront, and Coffee & Books podcast. An award-winning journalist, Dr. Hill has received numerous prestigious awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, GLAAD, and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Dr. Hill is the Steve Charles Professor of Media, Cities, and Solutions at Temple University. Prior to that, he held positions at Columbia University and Morehouse College.

Trained as an anthropologist of education, Dr. Hill holds a Ph.D. (with distinction) from the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the intersections between culture, politics, and education in the United States and the Middle East. Dr. Hill is the author or co-author of four books: the award-winning Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity; The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black life in America; the New York Times bestseller Nobody: Casualties of Americas War on The Vulnerable from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond; and Gentrifier.

Sponsored by: University of Kentucky College of Social Work

Lunch Keynote Address

Dayna Bowen Matthew, JD, PhD

Dean, George Washington University Law School
Author, "Just Health: Treating Structural Racism To Heal America"

Dayna Bowen Matthew, JD, PhD, is the Dean and Harold H. Greene Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School. Dean Matthew is a leader in public health and civil rights law who focuses on racial disparities in health care. She joined the UVA Law faculty in 2017 and is the author of Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care.

Dean Matthew graduated with an AB in economics from Harvard-Radcliffe and obtained a JD from the University of Virginia. Following graduation, she clerked for Justice John Charles Thomas, the first African American justice to sit on the Virginia Supreme Court. In 2018, she received a PhD in health and behavioral sciences from the University of Colorado at Denver. Dean Matthew has written articles on health and antitrust law that appeared in the Virginia Law Review, Georgetown Journal of Law, and American Journal of Law and Medicine.

Sponsored by: University of Kentucky College of Medicine, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, and the Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies


Breakout Sessions

During the 2022 UNITE Research Showcase, University of Kentucky researchers featured their racial equity work during breakout sessions designed to illustrate the relevance and impact of their ongoing scholarship. 


Advancing Health Equity with Evidence-Based Research

Moderator: Nancy Schoenberg, PhD - College of Medicine

Presenters: Diane Francis, PhD - College of Communication and Information

Lauren Whitehurst, PhD - College of Arts & Sciences

Shemeka Thorpe, PhD - College of Education


Structural Racism and Its Impact on Wealth Acquisition

Moderator: Melynda Price, JD, PhD - College of Law

Presenters: Lala Ma, PhD - Gatton College of Business and Economics

Ben Rosa, PhD - Gatton College of Business and Economics

Christopher Bradley, JD, PhD - College of Law


Sustainable Social Justice Advocacy

Moderator: Anastasia Curwood, PhD - College of Arts & Sciences

Presenters: Keith Watts, PhD - College of Social Work

Thais Council, PhD - College of Education

Keiko Tanaka, PhD - College of Arts & Sciences


Achieving Equitable Education: Holistic Approaches to Academic Success

Moderator: Kenneth Tyler, PhD - College of Education

Presenters: Zitsi Mirakhur, PhD - College of Education

Isaac Woods, PhD - College of Education

Sarah Cprek, PhD - College of Public Health


Poster Session

1st Place: Paris Wheeler “Knowledge, Experience, and Perceptions of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder and Medication Assisted Treatment among Black Kentuckians”


2nd Place: Brittany Miller-Roenigk “Generational, Mental Health and Treatment Patterns Among Black Adults Who Misuse Prescription Opioids”


3rd Place: Fatema Alsada “Perceived Barriers to Engage in Preventive Blood Glucose Screenings in Saudi Arabia”


Event Feedback

"The sessions, keynotes, and posters were outstanding!"

"I loved seeing research presented by BILPOC members that centered on their experience. It is a great way to put tangible evidence to validate our experience as BILPOC communities."

"The research was phenomenal and it was an affirming environment that centered racial justice in an authentic way. "


We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to our breakout session and keynote speakers, event staff, attendees, and sponsors. The success of this event would not have been possible without your support. We are grateful for the generous contributions of the following colleges and centers at the University of Kentucky:

College of Social Work

College of Medicine

College of Pharmacy

College of Public Health

College of Engineering

Center for Equality and Social Justice

College of Arts & Sciences

Markey Cancer Center

College of Communication and Information

Gatton College of Business and Economics

College of Law

College of Nursing

Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies

Center for Health Equity Transformation