Kentucky State University President M. Christopher Brown II officially welcomed and introduced new employees to the campus community when he convened faculty and staff on January 8 for Encampment 2018.

The day-long event kick starts the second half of the academic year for Kentucky State. Encampment brings together Frankfort community leaders, faculty, staff, students and alumni in finding new and effective ways of developing ideas, pursuing innovative strategies and applying knowledge for the public good.

The Encampment seminar leader was Damon A. Williams, Ph.D., one of the nation’s recognized experts in strategic diversity leadership, youth development, corporate responsibility, educational achievement, social impact and organizational change.

Williams spoke about framing diversity and inclusion in the 21st century.

“We find ourselves in shifting times and in some ways Kentucky State represents the future of our nation; the future of higher education; the future of the possibilities that we can embrace, but only if we chose to embrace them,” Williams said.

Williams emphasized that if Kentucky State is to position itself for success, it will require a group effort.

“How do you ensure that Kentucky State becomes an innovation hotspot? We must do it together,” Williams said. “You must lead with courage, push against the grain. That is what is means to innovate.”

After Williams discussed strategic diversity leadership, President Brown welcomed faculty, staff, alumni and community members.

President Brown also focused on diversity.

“Data shows Kentucky State University is the most diverse HBCU in America,” President Brown said. “Instead of embracing our uniqueness, we see it as a liability. We have to celebrate where we are and quickly figure out how to stake a unique position in the landscape.”

President Brown said that 2018 at Kentucky State is a time for getting things done now, not getting ready to do them.

“Either we’re doing it or we’re not,” President Brown said.

“Standing still is moving backward,” President Brown said. “We must move forward and embrace the uniqueness of Kentucky State.”

Strengthening public perception as a public agency was discussed, as well as the importance of planning, taking action, checking progress and adjusting to improve effectiveness.

“Perfection is often the enemy of action,” President Brown said.

President Brown also focused on the progress made over the last semester.

“The campus culture and climate feels tremendously better than it did six months ago,” President Brown said. “Students, alumni and fans seem to have a positive experience. People are feeling differently about Kentucky State. There’s a sense of forward moving, that there is change, that there is progress and that something is happening.”

As Encampment concluded, President Brown thanked everyone for their hard work.

“We have a lot of work to do and I thank everyone for working hard,” President Brown said.