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“We’re proud and appreciative to have this opportunity to lead our department’s commitment to issues of diversity. Our Committee is excited to continue our work on education and advocacy regarding these issues.” – Ray Oliver and Tiffany Hayden

The University of Kentucky Athletics Department formed a Diversity Advocacy Committee made up of ten. staff members from different backgrounds, experiences and history. The Committee’s membership was chosen to provide diverse perspectives to yield the best outcomes. The Committee’s mission is to advocate for University of Kentucky student-athletes, athletics staff and coaches and the unique needs of the marginalized communities across those groups. The committee began meeting in June. The Committee, co-chaired by Ray Oliver and Tiffany Hayden, has been charged with maintaining a commitment to educating UK Athletics on issues facing all marginalized student-athletes, marginalized athletics staff and coaches. They have made a commitment to listening, identifying ways to create a more diverse athletics department, and training all student-athletes, staff and coaches to identify their own biases. They have committed to amplifying underrepresented voices. The Committee will work toward creating a strong diverse culture, one that is reflective of all the people in Kentucky Athletics.

“During summer of 2020, we began asking the question, ‘How can we be part of positive change? We began by forming a committee toward that goal, and they have begun building awareness, working with student-athletes and staff, and developing action plans.” – Mitch Barnhart

Mission Statement

We are a team of advocates for Diversity for our Student-Athletes, Athletics staff, and Coaches.
We are committed to educating UK Athletics on issues facing, Student-Athletes, athletics staff, and coaches with Diverse backgrounds.
We are committed to listening.
We are committed to identifying ways to create a more diverse athletics department.
We are committed to training all student-athletes, staff and coaches to identify their own biases.
We are committed to our underrepresented voices being heard.  
We are committed to creating a strong diverse culture, one that is reflective of all the people in the Department. Our different backgrounds, experiences, and history make us better.





Fan Code of Conduct

“The Southeastern Conference and the University of Kentucky ask that all fans act responsibly and courtesy to those around you.  Abusive language or disorderly conduct is unacceptable and unwelcome at UK venues.  Let’s afford the student-athletes, coaches, officials, and your fellow fans the respect that they deserve.  The throwing of objects onto the playing court is strictly prohibited and violators will be ejected from the arena.  Your safety and the safety of the players is important to us and conference policy strictly prohibits spectators from coming onto the floor at any time, including the end of the game.  Thank you for your cooperation.”

DAC Initiatives

  • Centering Social Justice in Athletics 4-part training series through the Inclusive Excellence and Diversity Education Office for UKAD department staff on race, gender and social justice.  The conversations reflected the immediacy of current events and the historic that exists between social justice and sports. The goal is to chart a path from the dialogue to work with student-athletes and colleagues
  • Social Justice training for student-athletes in the Emerging Leaders program:

The purpose of this learning curriculum with student athletes will be to establish buy-in to social justice advocacy beyond responsive activism. It is our intention that work with staff, head coaches, and administrators will have a trickle-down impact on student engagement. IEDE proposes the following objectives for learning and engagement:


  • Define the terms allyship and advocacy
  • Historicize allyship and advocacy in sports (professional and collegiate)
  • Analyze contemporary moments of allyship and advocacy in sport
  • Establish buy-in from student athletes around advocacy and allyship


  • SafeZone Training Workshop: SafeZone Workshops are 90 minute workshops to equip individuals to be more aware and active allies. This workshop explores LGBTQ* identities, strategies for supporting student experiences, and exploring LGBTQ* related campus and community resources.
  • Presented a Black Student-Athlete Webinar Series: At the crossroads with Professor Melynda Price to educate them about the 13th amendment.
  • Provided an opportunity for staff and students to attend the Black Student Athlete Summit
  • Worked with campus to identify a mental health professional to support marginalized athletes

Partnered with underrepresented schools in the community to grow engagement

McLendon Initiative

The purpose of the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative (MLI) is to provide minorities a jump-start to their careers through practical experiences, opportunities to build their network, and instilling the values of John McLendon: Integrity, Education, Leadership, and Mentorship.

“The MLI is about access and opportunity: real-world experience and networking platforms designed to elevate talented young women and men of color who have previously been ignored by a system that lacks diversity and inclusion. For this work, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate vehicle than the McLendon Foundation. I’m excited about where we’re headed and feel this is a great first step toward affecting measurable change in our corner of the world,” said John Calipari, Head Men’s Basketball Coach at the University of Kentucky.


  • University of Kentucky DEI resources –
  • Inclusive Excellence and Diversity Education
  • Wellness Hub for our Student Athletes – The Wildcat Wellness Hub provides education and direction to our student-athletes in securing available wellness resources.  Examples include mental health, nutrition, substance abuse, along with overall wellness.
  • LGBTQ* Resources –
  • University of Kentucky’s LGBTQ* Resources is University of Kentucky’s central hub for accessing information, groups, and services related to diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. Housed in the Office for Student Succes, we are a campus-wide office that works to make sure that our community is a welcoming, safe, and supportive place for all students, faculty, staff and alumni. We also seek to connect and collaborate with community groups and friends across the City of Lexington and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Our mission focuses on the three core pillars of education, advocacy, and community building. We are actively engaged in supporting student organizations, offering professional development opportunities for campus groups, and advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals from many walks of life. Our ultimate goal is to highlight the wonderfully diverse experiences of LGBTQ* Wildcats while working to decrease marginalization in all forms.
  • Disability Services –

The University is dedicated to providing reasonable accommodation to qualified students, employees, and all those with disabilities participating in its programs and services. The University’s Strategic Plan outlines a commitment to a diverse workplace and learning community, a distinguished faculty and staff, and an increasingly higher caliber of students. This dream drives the challenge of providing quality educational and occupational opportunities for everyone, especially qualified individuals with disabilities. The University is dedicated to providing reasonable accommodation to qualified students, employees, and all those with disabilities participating in its programs and services.