In 2011 a small group of University of Kentucky staff came together to create the “I am” Diversity Project. Lisa A. Brown (College of Communications and Information), Emily J. Duncan (University Health Services), Randa Remer (College of Health Sciences) and Marietta Watts (UK Training & Development) are the co-founders. Having participated in the UK Humanity Academy together, their goal in creating this new initiative was to build a movement that (according to the I am diversity website) “expands the conversation of diversity in a way that promotes common humanity by exploring identity, nurturing inclusivity, and connecting communities.” They quickly got the attention of such notables as First Lady Jane Beshear and Judge Ernesto Scorsone who contributed to their invitational video and supported the initiative enthusiastically (see more partners listed on their website here).
You can get involved! Start by watching the 2013 video invitation to describe how you contribute to the diversity of Kentucky.
Then upload your own video response to YouTube – see the step-by-step instructions on the “I am diversity” website – or watch Emily Duncan’s video on “How to Create a Response” located at http://www.uky.edu/Diversity/iamdiversityky/responses/instructions.html. All the video responses (including one from First Lady Jane Beshear and one from President Capilouto) can be found on their YouTube channel or on their website here.
Besides the video campaign, the “I am diversity” team has drafted a free curriculum available for download on their website. Facilitation strategies on leading conversations about diversity are included as well. They ask that if you have a great resource — a link, a book, an activity, etc — that has helped you discuss or understand diversity, they would love to list it on their website. Send them an email at email@example.com.
Become a part of the movement! If you want to schedule a presentation, training, meeting or other event, visit their website to submit your request for the following types of events:
- introduce the movement
- collect responses
- table at my event (resource fair, conference, etc.)
- facilitate curriculum