LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — For eight minutes and forty-six seconds, things on the University of Kentucky campus came to a standstill. At least they did outside the Jacobs Science Center, where students, faculty, and community members gathered to show their unity towards a common goal; racial justice.
“We thought the best way to address racism as a public health crisis is by getting all of the health colleges together within the University of Kentucky, and joining forces to tackle what are actionable things we can do, united,” Associate Dean with UK School of Medicine Stephanie White said.
White’s most important message for those to take from today’s gathering was a sense of how to invoke real change as opposed to merely talking about it void of any action.
“…not just have it be a performance, or show of solidarity without having any action behind it,” White said.
Protests around the country have made a difference, as various police forces have eliminated the use of no-knock warrants and chokeholds on suspects. Louisville’s Breonna Taylor was killed during the execution of a no-knock warrant. And you could say George Floyd was choked on that street in Minneapolis when Officer Derek Chauvin leaned on his next for those eight minutes and forty-six seconds.
In Lexington, the protests have been mostly peaceful. And on this campus, anything less than racial inclusion won’t be tolerated by this school’s president.
“At the University of Kentucky, all who turn to us are deemed infinitely worthy—treated fairly. Granted equal opportunity to learn and heal, regardless of who they are, or where they are from,” Dr. Eli Capilouto said at the beginning of today’s presentation.