Who We Are

Cynthia Ganote

Dr. Cynthia Ganote

Dr. Cynthia Ganote is the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Community Engagement in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Louisville. She is also a faculty member in the Department of Sociology. Her research focuses on ways to address microaggressions in higher education with microresistance; diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom; race, class, gender, and sexual inequalities; critical and feminist pedagogies; and critical approaches to community-based research. She formerly served as an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, and later as Director of Faculty Development, at Saint Mary’s College of California in the San Francisco Bay Area. She serves as a national consultant on diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and has published in such areas as microresistance in the classroom, critical and feminist pedagogies, and ways to connect classroom learning with democratic citizenship.

Phone: 502.852.8023

Clest Lanier

Clest Lanier

A passionate, resourceful community leader with an established track record of success in public service and non-profit administration, Clest Lanier was a co-founder and director of the African American Heritage Foundation, Louisville and Jefferson County African American Heritage Committee.

Described as a creative thinker with the ability to develop sustainable projects from conception to implementation she served was the first Chairperson of the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission and provided leadership to the commission during the first three years of its existence. 

Highlights of her career include:

  • Secured more than $9.0million in private funding from various civic, community and regional foundations for the state’s largest multi-cultural tourism initiative.
  • Successfully led initiative that resulted in the renovation and reuse of a historic trolley located in one of the community’s largest brown fields.
  • Led efforts to secure national designation and by federal agencies for Smoketown and Russell communities.
  • Spearheaded effort to place thirteen (13) historic markers throughout Louisville and Jefferson County.
  • Project manager for the Louisville Downtown Civil Rights Markers Trail

A graduate of the University of Louisville, with a degree in Political Science, Alfred P. Sloan Fellow Certification in Policy Skills Analysis, Graduate of the Museum Management Certification Program,Ms. Lanier attended the Overseas Studies Program in London, England.

Clest is currently with the UofL College of Arts and Science, Dean’s Office for Diversity and Community Engagement Programs where she designs and implements community outreach programs for the Dean’s Office.  Most recently she was project manager for the Louisville Downtown Civil Rights Markers Trail, an initiative that preserves the sites of sit-in demonstrations in 1963 that led to the passage of the public accommodations ordinance prohibiting discrimination in theatres, restaurants and stores.  The Trail is one of three (3) in the state of Kentucky on the US Civil Rights Commission list of civil rights sites.

Mrs. Lanier is a recipient of the prestigious HGTV Restore America Award, National Trust for Historic Preservation Southern Region Award, and most recently received the 2019 Christy and Owsley Brown II Excellence in Public Service to Preservation.  A graduate of Leadership Louisville, she has served on numerous boards and has been active with a number of civic organizations.

Phone: 502.852.3042

Eric Jordan

Eric Jordan, ABD

Eric Jordan is a third-year Ph.D. student in Applied Sociology and serves as Graduate Assistant for Diversity & Inclusion Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. His research focuses primarily on race, racism, racial representations, and how those all intersect within popular culture. His thesis focused on studying the ways in which films act as racial projects and influence the way we construct racial realities through tropes and archetypes. Recently, he co-authored an encyclopedia entry about the white savior trope in films for The Encyclopedia of Racism in American Cinema, and co-authored a book chapter about the presentation of queer black masculinity in the film Moonlight in Living Racism: Through the Barrel of the Book. He formerly served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of Sociology for Intro to Sociology, Race in the U.S., and Social Problems.