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FRANKFORT — Kentucky State University President M. Christopher Brown II today announced the establishment of the Atwood Institute for Race, Education and the Democratic Ideal. The University’s Board of Regents today approved the Center’s formation and vision statement, along with a targeted fall launch.

The Center, according to documents from the executive meeting, will advance research, dialogue and advocacy for anti-racism training and conflict resolution, and exploration of the elements of democracy in solving intractable social problems.

Special research emphasis will be placed on Appalachia, the African Diaspora, and migrant communities.

President Brown applauded the board’s action in approving the Center, which will be established through seed funding redirected from the Office of the President originally reserved for municipal organization memberships and association fees.

“The board’s action shows a unique commitment to the expansion of Kentucky State’s mission, and its role in building a stronger city, state and nation,” Brown said. “We are proud that KSU will serve as the founding institution for a first-of-its-kind research center stationed on an historically black campus, and that our diverse faculty, student body and surrounding community will lead the nation in this important work.”

Officials say the Atwood Center will use conferences, published research, academic courses and lecture series to examine constructs of diversity, racial, sexual and gender tolerance, and equity building. A national search was also announced today to identify the director of the Center, who will also serve as an associate faculty member.

The Center is named for former Kentucky State President Rufus B. Atwood, who served for 33 years and helped to cultivate the school as an accredited land-grant institution.


Kentucky State University, building on its legacy of achievement as a historically black, liberal arts, and 1890 Land Grant University affords access to and prepares a diverse population of traditional and non-traditional students through high-quality undergraduate and select graduate programs. Located in Kentucky, KSU offers associate (two-year) degrees in two disciplines, baccalaureate (four-year) degrees in 24 disciplines, master’s degrees in eight disciplines, and one advanced practice doctorate in nursing. KSU has 129 full-time instructional faculty members and more than 2,000 students.