U of L plans to observe Juneteenth as a holiday Tuesday, Jun 1 2021 

By Eli Hughes–

The University of Louisville announced on May 25 that, starting this year, Juneteenth will now be recognized as a university-wide holiday. Juneteenth is celebrated annually on June 19 as a commemoration of the last enslaved people in the United States to learn of and receive emancipation.

“Juneteenth, short for June Nineteenth, marks the day in 1865 when the enslaved persons in Texas and other southern states were finally freed – more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation,” President Neeli Bendapudi said in the email announcement.

“Juneteenth represents freedom for our Black community and is a powerful reminder that racial and social justice are goals that are still to be fully realized. There is great success in our country’s history, and there is also great failure. When we acknowledge both, we can understand our wholeness better and begin to heal the wounds of our past.”

Juneteenth falls on a Saturday this year, so U of L classes and offices will be closed on June 18 in recognition of the holiday.

In addition to the university closing on June 18, there will also be a variety of events held that week to help educate and bring awareness to the university community. These include a lecture by Vanderbilt University Professor Michael Dyson, a learning café lead by the Employee Success Center with the founder of the Roots 101 African American Museum Lamont Collins, and a talk sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Equity and the Black Faculty/Staff Association with sociologist Oliver Rollins.

All of these events will be held virtually and more information can be found on U of L’s event page.

Graphic by Eli Hughes//The Louisville Cardinal

 

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New office and interim senior associate vice president announced Sunday, Jul 28 2019 

By Maggie Vancampen —

University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi announced the interim senior associate vice president of the new Office of Diversity and Equity in an email to the community.

Faye Jones, professor of pediatrics and associate vice president for health affairs/diversity initiatives at the Louisville Health Sciences Center, will start the associate vice president role Aug. 1. She will take former Vice Provost Mordean Taylor-Archer’s place until a permanent senior associate vice president can be found.

The position is expected to be filled by July 1, 2020.

“Dr. Jones has a well-documented record of success in both her position as a tenured professor in pediatrics and her role as head of diversity initiatives at the Health Sciences Center,” said the email.

The Office of Diversity and Equity is designed to ensure that U of L follows Bendapudi’s dream of making the university a great place to learn, work and invest. “This office will have responsibility for driving strategy and outcomes for students, staff and faculty as it relates to diversity and equity,” Bendapudi said in her email.

“This position offers an opportunity to accelerate the move of our institution’s positive change forward on a larger level,” Jones said.

“The renewed energy and excitement of the current leadership team reaffirms my desire to lead our diversity initiatives across the campuses.”

Jones said her main goal would be to see the new office actualize the university’s commitment to change. “An initiative that I would take on is to reorganize and engage a broader group of stakeholders across schools and campuses to address our core components of education, research, community engagement and service, and climate.”

Jones earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology at Western Kentucky University and her M.D., Ph.D. and Master of Science in Public Health at U of L.

“We can accomplish a lot by cultivating relationships in order to build cohesive teams to move our strategic plan forward,” Jones said.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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