Community Engagement

Addressing the needs and interests of our diverse communities locally, statewide, nationally and internationally.

Eboni Cochran receives 2023 award for Outstanding Community Partner

Eboni Cochran is the recipient of the 2023 UofL Outstanding Community Engagement Award for a Community Partner. Eboni is the is co-director of Rubbertown Emergency Action (REACT), a grassroots organization of citizens living on or near the fenceline of Rubbertown. Rubbertown is host to 11 large chemical plants, the largest source of industrial emissions in the city.  A trusted voice in environmental justice efforts for several decades, Eboni regularly leads Environmental Injustice tours around west Louisville, and also co-directs West Louisville Math and Science. Recently, she has been working with Megan Poole, UofL assistant professor of English, College of Arts & Sciences, and Dr. Poole’s students, on the Air Justice project. The Air Justice project aims to make engaging with the issue of air pollution easier, and also seeks to amplify what communities in Louisville want from environmental health equity work. Air Justice works with scholars, students, and local community members like Eboni to research solutions that bring legislative change and decrease toxic emissions in neighborhoods.


Eboni also received the 2023 Josh Smith Award for Sustainability pictured above


Outstanding Community Engagement Award winners also included:

  • UofL students Adrienne Smith, Kendria Kelly-Taylor, Jason Deakings for their work with young adults are affected by HIV. The Fighting Injustices among African American Youth Project works to address HIV testing and prevention barriers among justice-involved African American young adults.
  • UofL Assistant Professor of Comparative Humanities Dr. Hilaria Cruz won the faculty award. Dr. Hilaria Cruz grew up speaking Chatino, a language for which there was no writing system. She was forced to learn Spanish in school.  However, as a PhD student, working with two others, she co-developed a writing system for Chatino. Since then, Dr. Cruz has devoted her professional life to promoting literacy in Chatino. The Chatino Tonal Books Project is one way she has worked to achieve this goal. With her students, both undergraduate and graduate, she has written and published 19 children’s books.
  • Jason Beare received the staff award for starting the Louisville H.E.R.O. Run/Walk/Ruck 5k to raise money for local Veterans in 2022. Thanks to the participants, donations, and sponsorships from numerous local and national businesses, they donated $7500 to Veterans Club, Inc., which used the funds to aid Kentuckiana-area Veterans in financial crisis. They also donated a full $5000 scholarship to the Salute to Scholarship Fund at UofL.

The Outstanding Community Engagement Award was created in 2009 as a way to recognize faculty, staff, students, and community partners who are involved in outstanding community engagement service. Honorees engaged in exemplary community engagement activities such as volunteerism, outreach, partnerships, curricular engagement, or community-based research receive $1,000, a crystal award, and their name added to the permanent recognition display located in Ekstrom Library.


Community Engagement

University of Louisville

2323 S. Brook St.

Louisville, KY 40208

(502) 852-6026

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