Event at UK with author sparks conversation on racial equality

The event included announcements the foundation hopes will help close racial equality gaps in Lexington.
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 10:18 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The University of Kentucky, in partnership with Blue Grass Community Foundation, hosted “An Evening with Heather McGhee” on campus Thursday night.

The event included announcements the foundation hopes will help close racial equality gaps in Lexington.

The Lexington Public Library brought back their One Book, One Lexington Community Reads Movement last month, making more than 1,000 copies of McGhee’s The Sum of Us available for the community.

“One of the many lessons that we’ve learned, especially in the last couple of years, is that there are a lot of inequities in our society and if this is a way that we can get people talking about those and figuring out how we can better support one another, Black, white, brown whatever the races, really making sure that we can move together as a society is part of our goals,” said Anne Donworth with the Lexington Public Library.

The event aimed at furthering the regional conversation about the costs of racism.

“This thing called a book could do something else to help spur conversations and consciousness raising and breakthroughs and community collaborations in places that I could never reach,” McGhee said.

The BGCF is working with many community partners to create more generous, vibrant and equitable communities across the bluegrass. They hope reading McGhee’s book will lead members of the Lexington community to think about what they can do to create change.

“It’s really to not just read a book and walk away but to really engage with a topic and to think about what is our individual and collective action? What can we do next to help build a more equitable community?” said Lisa Adkins, president and CEO of the BGCF.

The event included announcements to help advance economic prosperity in Lexington and close back racial equity gaps. The Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative, an effort of the BGCF, will be making $150,000 in grant funds available for various projects.

The grant application opens Thursday evening and will be open until June 15. For more information on how to sign up, you can click here.

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