Grants and Contracts Details


Scope of Work: Education is a civil right for everyone, and this project and collaboration with the NAACP will seek to address this fact. The landmark Brown v. Board of Education case states: Today, education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments. Compulsory school attendance laws and the great expenditures for education both demonstrate our recognition of the importance of education to our democratic society. It is required in the performance of our most basic public responsibilities, even service in the armed forces. It is the very foundation of good citizenship. Today it is a principal instrument in awakening the child to cultural values, in preparing him for later professional training, and in helping him to adjust normally to his environment. In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) Project Goals: Through this project, the Education and Civil Rights Initiative seeks to affirm the dignity of all people, by protecting an individual’s right to show up as his/her/their full self within the College of Education, University of Kentucky, and greater Lexington community. In Kentucky race-based claims represent ? of discrimination claims, with ? of claims addressing gender, disability, and other inequities. The Initiative recognizes that an individual’s intersectional identity positions them in the world with a unique set of privileges and challenges, and these often shape one’s attitude and access to a fair and equitable education. We believe in promoting a set of laws that protect the immutable characteristics of the people of the Commonwealth, including but not limited to African American/Black, LatinX, Asian American/Pacific Islander, First Nations/Indigenous, LGBTQI+, Diversely Abled, First Generation, Immigrant, and Veteran populations. Project Impact: When an individual is able to see one’s self reflected and protected in Civil Rights laws, they become a more invested, engaged, and thriving member of society. We know that full protections of civil rights are good for society, community, education, and business. The impact of the hallmark 1964 Civil Rights Act still resonates, today, and continues to be called upon as the foundation for current civil rights enforcement and policy. In a speech, marking the 50th Anniversary of the Act’s signing, former President Obama made the follow remarks: Because of the Civil Rights movement, because of the laws President Johnson signed, new doors of opportunity and education swung open for everybody—not all at once, but they swung open. . . . Half a century later, the laws LBJ passed are now as fundamental to our conception of ourselves and our democracy as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They are foundational; an essential piece of the American character (2014). This project will focus on civil rights and education laws and policy that directly and in-directly impact access and equity. The current climate shows that there is still much work to be done in the civil rights arena both nationally and locally. According to data gathered by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 2019, there were 72,675 individual discrimination complaints filed with the Federal government. Of these complaints there were nearly evenly distributed between race, sex, disability and age: 33% race, 32% sex, 33% disability, and 21% age. Thus, an Initiative that is able to balance the tension between race-based discrimination and discrimination of other vulnerable populations, will allow students, faculty, and staff to explore the nuance of intersectional identities, and foster inter and intra- group dialogue and best practices. Project Objectives: School District Equity Audits • As districts and communities work to confront the opportunity gaps that have recently been discussed in terms of the resulting “achievement gaps,” the ECRI stands ready to assist schools in doing the work of identifying the underlying policies and practices that are limiting the opportunities available to their minoritized and historically marginalized students. As part of this work, we not only perform statistical analyses of student discipline and academic data, but also conduct climate surveys and focus groups to learn from the community (students, parents, teachers, and the broader community) where problems may lie. The ECRI and its partners then guide the district, in conversation with the community, in re-training teachers and staff, revising policies and practices, and taking other remedial actions to improve access and opportunity for all students. Current such engagements include Paducah Public Schools (KY) and San Francisco Unified School District (CA). Spring Conference • We will hold a Spring Conference each year focused on highlighting the current work of COE faculty and UK Faculty from other corresponding departments and Centers. • The Institute will collaborate with COE Faculty and teachers to identify areas of concern for local teachers and offer relevant workshops/Institutes within this conference. For example, a workshop where teachers can better develop anti-racist Black History month, civil rights curriculum, and trauma informed education practices. NAACP National Convention Pre-Conference • The Institute will work with the national NAACP office to convene a pre-conference at the National NAACP convention. • The pre-conference will consist of the following meetings: o NAACP National Board Education Briefing o Convening of State and Local Education Chairs o Convening of Institute Fellows o Community listening sessions Youth Civil Rights Summit • We recognize that engaging the community we wish to serve in this work is imperative in not only putting our values into practice, but also by providing an accessible pipeline to the college and University as a whole. The Institute will hold a spring break Youth Summit to engage K-12 youth in conversations and understanding around local laws and rights. We will collaborate with existing partners to publicize and implement the event. Project Scope Conclusion Every child should have the opportunity to succeed in public education. If a child has access to quality education and is mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy there is no limit to what they can achieve. This is the foundational principle to guide the work of this project and Initiative. The College of Education’s Civil Rights Initiative will be a national voice that seeks to close the learning gap for at risk students due to socioeconomic status, race, and other factors that create challenges for students both in the classroom and beyond.
Effective start/end date7/1/216/30/22


  • NAACP Empowerment Program Incorporated: $120,000.00


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