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Center for Equality and Social Justice Releases Policy Briefs

By Kathy Johnson

The University of Kentucky Center for Equality and Social Justice (CESJ) has released two policy briefs dealing with subjects of heightened interest nationally and in Kentucky — immigration reform and LGBTQ legal protections.

Created last year, the CESJ is an interdisciplinary research center that promotes equality and social justice through collaborative scholarship and education. It also advocates for social justice in public policies and laws. Faculty members from a broad range of disciplines at UK serve as affiliates of the CESJ, and Christia Spears Brown, professor in the Department of Psychology, serves as its director.

The position paper titled "Immigrants Benefit the Community and Economy" was written by Jenny Minier, professor in the Department of Economics in the Gatton College of Business and Economics. She outlines both moral and economic reasons for Congress to find a policy solution that will allow the nearly 800,000 immigrants currently enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known by its acronym DACA, to remain legally in the U.S.

Minier's paper can be read in its entirety on the CESJ website:

Ellen Riggle, professor with a joint appointment in the departments of Political Scienceand Gender and Women's Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, wrote the paper titled "Need for Non-Discrimination Laws Protecting LGBT People in Kentucky." The paper addresses the benefits of amending nondiscrimination laws in Kentucky to include sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Riggle's paper can be read in its entirety on the CESJ website:

"One of the goals of the Center for Equality and Social Justice is to inform state and federal policymakers and stakeholders about critical issues related to social justice that are part of the national dialogue," Brown said. "These position papers and policy briefs, written by experts in their fields, are an important way to provide up-to-date information and evidence-based policy suggestions to those people in the position to help promote equality for all."

The specific aims of the CESJ are threefold as stated on its website:

  • to better understand social inequality, and how to promote and ensure social justice, through collaborative scholarship and education;
  • to empower scholars, students and the community to advocate for greater social justice; and
  • to help shape policies and practices to reduce existing inequality and ensure social justice.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue