Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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The University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work and Family Science does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, color, national origin, ethnicity, creed, religion, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy, or disability of an otherwise qualified individual in educational programs and activities.  Accordingly, while a program or activity may be focused on the needs or issues of a particular group, they are intended to be inclusive of all and any participant may benefit from attendance or participation in these programs and activities.

Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion

Dr. Emma Sterrett-HongDr. Emma Sterrett-Hong is the Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion. Emma brings a wealth of experience, leadership, and passion into this new role. Since  joining the Kent School of Social Work and Family Science in 2011, she has taken on a number initiatives related to social justice, equity, and inclusion. As a few examples, she has been a member of and chaired the Kent School Diversity and Social Justice Committee, helped create and advise Shades (a university student group for LGBTQ+ students of color), served as a Board member for West Louisville Community Ministries (providing emergency rental, utility, and medical financial support to clients in predominately ethnic minority and from low-income communities), and was a founding Board member of Sweet Evening Breeze (provides LGBTQ+ affirming services to adults experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity).

More about Dr. Sterrett-Hong here.


Domestic Violence  Awareness Month Solidarity Statement & Events

Prepared by Dr. Heather Storer and the Kent School Anti-Oppression Committee Gender Equity & Justice Team 

Nationally, October is honored as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Rather than an isolated event, domestic violence is a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviors in people’s romantic relationships. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that nearly 25% of woman-identified people will experience physical forms of DV in their lifetimes, but that number is even higher when other forms of abuse, such as verbal and mental abuse and technology-facilitated forms of harassment are accounted for. While nearly 10% of male-identified people experience abuse in their romantic relationships, it is important to underscore that female-identified people experience the most injurious forms of abuse, including homicide and stalking. However, all abuse is unacceptable in dating relationships and more scholarship is needed to theorize and contextualize men’s lived experiences of abuse. 

Although there is no systematic collection of DV-specific surveillance data in Kentucky, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (2022) reported that nearly 1,200 people received DV-specific services per day in Kentucky. Although domestic violence happens in relationships among people across cultural identities, it is essential to acknowledge that BIPOC-identified and LGBTQIA+ people experience the highest abuse rates due to structural and systematic inequities. Domestic violence is one of the primary causes of unintended death for African-American women and contributes to high levels of maternal and infant mortality. Furthermore, experiencing DV is a significant predictor of housing insecurity, poverty, substance misuse, and adverse mental health outcomes, including death by suicide.

However, it is important to acknowledge that people who have experienced DV are resilient and continue to resist the oppression in their lives. Thus, on behalf of the Anti-Oppression Committee Gender Equity Team, we stand in solidarity with domestic violence survivors and their families and advocate for structural and systemic solutions to prevent abuse and support survivors’ post-traumatic growth and resiliency.

DV is a community-wide issue that cuts across systems and institutions. Thus, we all play a role in dismantling the interlocking systems of oppression that perpetuate violence against women and children. One of the first steps to ending DV is to challenge social norms that are permissive to violence and to provide survivor-centered education on the dynamics of DV. One of the most common misconceptions, for example, is that DV is bi-directional or that abuse survivors play a role in perpetuating the abuse (something called victim-blaming). This kind of victim-blaming is reinforced by questioning why people experience stay in abusive relationships or holding survivors responsible for protecting themselves against abuse.

 List of Local Resources


Kent School Anti-Racism Position Statement

Kent Faculty Take a KneeAs part of its mission to be an anti-oppressive School, the Kent School of Social Work and Family Science is dedicated to promoting anti-racism in all its endeavors, including service, research, teaching, practice, policies, and climate.  Anti-racism refers to the process of enacting policies and interpersonal interactions that recognize the absolute equality of people across societally defined racial/ethnic groups.  Anti-racism also refers to the process of enacting policies and interpersonal interactions to eradicate disparate outcomes observed between White people and Black, Indigenous, other People of Color (BIPOC).  Therefore, the Kent School of  Social Work and Family Science seeks to reduce and eliminate inequities in recruitment, retention, and treatment of BIPOC students, staff, and faculty within the School.  In addition, the Kent School of Social Work and Family Science strives, through service, research, practice, and advocacy, to reduce and eliminate inequities in education, health and well-being affecting BIPOC throughout the university, city of Louisville, and society in general.   We approach our anti-racism work from an intersectional perspective, recognizing that BIPOC with additional marginalized identities, such as those who are also women, members of the LGBTQ community, religious minorities, and those with disabilities, face particular forms of oppression that need to be addressed to completely eliminate inequities affecting them.

Kent School of Social Work and Family Science Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Overview 

DEI OverviewConsistent with its focus on anti-oppression, the Kent School of Social Work and Family Science seeks to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion among Students, Faculty, Staff.  This priority spans all aspects of the school, from its overall climate, to the various activities in which the Kent School is engaged, including education, research, administration/support, and service.  This Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plan spans from Fall 2020, when Dean David Jenkins charged the School with becoming more anti-racist through Spring 2023. Download Kent School Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.


Diversity Plan Progress Report

Diversity PlanThe Diversity Plan Progress Report outlines the UofL Diversity Plan as required by CPE. The report reviews the following areas: student recruitment and enrollment, student success, workforce diversity, campus climate, inclusiveness and cultural competency. Read the report.