Louisville HBCU announces partnership with University of Kentucky

Louisville HBCU announces partnership with University of Kentucky
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 1:07 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Simmons College of Kentucky, Louisville’s only Historically Black College and University, announced it is partnering with the University of Kentucky to broaden educational pathways for students.

On Tuesday, Simmons College President Dr. Kevin W. Cosby and UK Provost Robert DiPaola signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” that will allow several collaborative opportunities for both schools.

At first, the collaboration will focus on educational opportunities for students within Simmons College to participate in programs from three UK colleges: The J. David Rosenberg College of Law, the College of Arts and Science and the College of Education.

“This is the first time that the Big Blue Nation has been in a community like this for purposes of academic enrichment,” Cosby said. ”What we must provide black kids in poor neighborhoods are paths to success. and if we can do that we will be fulfilling the dream of Martin Luther King.”

The two schools said it would also explore other collaborative opportunities with UK’s College of Law, including keynote speakers, student organization events and exploration of live courtroom proceedings.

”One example is we call the program is we call it lawyer for the day,” DiPaola said. “It gives a real feeling for a student about what that field would be like.”

“Many of the homicides, and I would say most of the them that you encounter in the black community is a derivative of emotional frustration because of social isolation,” Cosby said.

Leaders with Simmons College said the program aims to reclaim opportunities Black students in Kentucky once had and honoring those who came before and sought education, even those who were enslaved.

“Yet they rose above it to get an education,” Cosby said. “If they could do that with they did peeping through a crack, imagine what we can do with an open door.”

Simmons New Chief of Staff, J. Michael Brown, will lead the pre-law and constitutional studies concentration at the school. Brown previously served as Executive Cabinet Secretary under the administration of Gov. Andy Beshear and as Justice Secretary under former Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration.