The University of Kentucky Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies Program acknowledge that we are on the lands inhabited for millennia by the ancestors of the Shawnee, Cherokee, Chickasaw, and other Nations, and that these traditional territories were taken by force through settler colonial and white-centered institutions. In Appalachian Studies, we have a particular responsibility in our scholarship to counter historical narratives that marginalize or erase Indigenous and minoritized voices in the region’s past and present.
As a land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky must actively attend to the historical narratives and well-being of the descendants of those who were displaced from these lands, which enabled this institution to grow in this place for the past 150 years. We commit to this acknowledgement being more than a token statement, and to center Indigenous and minoritized perspectives and experiences going forward. We join with others across this university community in actively pursuing those conversations and collaborations, including advocating for increasing the presence of, and support for, those who identify as minoritized in student, staff, faculty, and administrative positions.
We also acknowledge the reliance on the labor of those who have been enslaved, displaced, and minoritized in the building of the spaces and institutions which constitute the University of Kentucky and we join in the efforts to recognize, and value with a living wage, the work of all of those who make everyday life on and beyond the campus of the University of Kentucky possible.