A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

KDA welcomes industry veteran Sara Barnes as Director of Industry Responsibility and Sustainability

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association on Tuesday announced that industry veteran Sara Barnes has joined the nonprofit trade group as Director of Industry Responsibility and Sustainability. Barnes comes to the KDA from the Bourbon Women Association where she spent two years as Managing Director. She previously served for four years at Boone County Distilling Co. as Marketing and Events Coordinator...

Gateway student Arie Sanchez wants to advocate for immigration, racial justice, and promote inclusion

By Natalie Hamren KyForward reporter Second-year Gateway Community & Technical College social work student Arie Sanchez is passionate about social justice. When she enters the social work field, she wants to advocate for immigration rights, racial justice, and LGBTQ+ rights and equality. She particularly wants to work with and advocate for children, a group she said is especially vulnerable. Sanchez...

Troy Ellis named chair of EKU Foundation Board; replaces outgoing chairwoman Maribeth Berman

Troy Ellis, ‘87, BBA in Computer Systems Information, has been named chair of the Eastern Kentucky University Foundation Board, replacing outgoing chairwoman Maribeth Berman. “I’m very happy to serve. I serve a University that has given me so much. I almost feel like it’s an obligation. I want to do what I can to ensure that others have the same opportunities that I was given,” said Ellis....

Kentucky environmental groups turn focus to inclusion, diversity in state’s outdoor spaces

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Environmental advocates and outdoor enthusiasts across the state are focusing on inclusion and diversity in hiking, camping and other outdoor activities. Despite wanting to experience nature, many people of color may not have the opportunity to explore Kentucky’s numerous trails, lakes and state parks. (Photo courtesy of The Explore Kentucky Initiatve) Gerry...

Billy Reed: In a week celebrating inclusion, tolerance in one area, Thom Brennaman implodes in real time

It is sadly ironic that Cincinnati Reds television announcer Thom Brennaman committed career suicide by slur while the Democratic National Convention was celebrating diversity, inclusion and tolerance in uplifting fashion. That’s why I didn’t see or hear Brennaman’s shocking implosion in real time. I was watching the Democrats nominate Kamela Harris as Joe Biden’s runningmate. It wasn’t until...

New book by UK administrator Kathy Sheppard-Jones highlights diversity and inclusion for Ky. kids

By Meg Mills Special to KyForward University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI) Executive Director Kathy Sheppard-Jones has turned her personal experiences into a learning opportunity for Kentucky kids. Sheppard-Jones has published “You Can Do So Many Things!” — a book for young children that highlights diversity and inclusion in the workforce. Kathy Sheppard-Jones with her...

Louisville-born startup helps companies understand and improve cultural well-being, drive innovation

By Baylee Pulliam University of Louisville A new University of Louisville research-born startup is helping companies assess and improve organizational culture and drive innovation — even while navigating the myriad of culture shocks caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The startup — called UPOP, for “Underestimated People Of Purpose” — is built around a new cultural well-being survey and predictive...

Kentucky by Heart: Warmth, comfort and inclusion is ‘percolating’ at Lexington’s McLeod’s Coffee House

By Steve Flairty KyForward Columnist On a warm December morning at McLeod’s Coffee House, where “no one is excluded,” Brewster McLeod is sure of one thing. Those he terms “VIPs,” his employees, are perkin’ pretty well after six weeks in on his and their dream project. In fact, you might say Brewster is still dancin’ with the ones who brought him to this point of glee, which he likes to...

Ky. Foundation for Women awards more than $54,000 in grants to feminist artists, arts organizations

The Kentucky Foundation for Women gave one-time grants for feminist artists and arts organizations to use their artmaking to build power for women and girls and inspire action towards a future democracy grounded in equity and inclusive engagement. The grants were offered in addition to KFW’s regular grant programs. Ten grants totaling $54,508 were given. “These artists will help change the stories...

UK’s Bilal ibn Rabah Scholarship creates life-changing opportunities, extends community ties

Jevincio Tooson had every reason to believe attending college was an unreachable dream. Raised by a single mother and twice homeless while growing up, no one in Tooson’s family had ever graduated from college. Tooson applied for about 40 scholarships. He received, by his count, about 40 rejections. But Jevincio Tooson didn’t stop. With a sense of dogged determination, his dream would not be deferred....