Making a Start

There’s no time like the present, so they say, so today was a day of action on my part. I’d already decided that setting up a blog would be a great way to communicate with people about the progress of the Project, and explain how they can contribute so when, at 3.45am today, I found myself awake and full of bouncing thoughts there was nothing else to do but get online and get started. You’re reading the result right now,and I’ve been updating furiously throughout the day in a bid to get completely up to date with what I’ve done (not much) and what I still have to do (more than I can possibly imagine).

One of the Gaines requirements for the Jury Project is that we have a jury–a panel of people with whom we will consult throughout the process and to whom we will present our projects sometime in the spring. That jury will be made up of one of the Gaines directors, our senior Gaines mentor (mine is Ainsley Wagoner), a UK faculty member, and a member of the Lexington community not affiliated with UK. It is important that our jury be kept in the loop at all stages of the project so I wanted to get mine in place as quickly as possible; the instant that I decided upon my project, I knew exactly who I wanted on my panel.

This semester one of the classes I’m taking is a creative writing course with the subtitle “Narratives of Gender”. My instructor–KJ Rawson–is relatively new to UK and I hadn’t had the opportunity to take a class with him previously; nonetheless I was excited about the course content and the opportunities for learning and developing that it presented. By the end of the first class (which was only last week) I knew it was going to be a fabulous class. KJ handled the introduction of a controversial subject matter with tact, care, and elegance, and is clearly committed to issues concerning gender and identity. I knew instantly that he would be a great addition to my panel and asked him earlier today if he would be willing to be one of my jurors. I’m delighted that he agreed and although I haven’t known him for any length of time I’m more than confident that he will be a wonderful mentor and juror.The final juror position left vacant is for a member of Lexington’s community. I hope to have some positive news on that front later this week.

Meanwhile, it seems that people actually want to get involved in the Project. I’ve linked this blog to my facebook page and have had several comments from people wanting to be involved in making squares, or embroidering quotes. Some friends on Ravelry have offered to contribute, and one local friend, Sarah (who I met through Ravelry) has offered organizational help as well as knitting tuition for people that want to contribute but can’t knit. I also ran into one of my Gender & Women’s Studies professors on campus earlier today and quickly outlined my project to her–she’s eager for the department to be kept updated and offered their help in publicizing the project. Then tonight I got what could be a huge break.

Since we moved to Lexington we’ve been involved with Woodford HumaneSociety. We adopted our youngest cat,Jeoffrey, from them back in 2009 so when we made a decision to offer help by fostering kittens, they were the obvious place to approach. We quickly made friends with the wonderful people working there and although our circumstances and hectic schedules have meant that we haven’t fostered for about 6 months, we keep an eye on their website and stay in touch through facebook. Tonight the lovely lady who used to work for WHS as their PR director, saw my blog and instantly offered her expertise in PR and marketing. To say that I’m grateful is an understatement. We have plans to meet for coffee next week and talk about exciting things like press releases! This is really happening!

Now, though, after three (or is that four?) blog posts it’s time for me to sign off for the night. I’ve got a couple of things on the agenda that should keep me busy over the next couple of days. First, I need to set up a facebook page–no project of any size or consequence is complete these days without the addition of social media and the Diversity Project will be no exception. Which reminds me, I’ve already set up a Twitter account–you can follow my tweets @ukdiversityproject. Over the next few days I also need to start making some calculations about the size of the project, how many squares and quotes I’ll need, how much the yarn will cost, whether or not to seek sponsorship, and who else to contact to publicize the Project. I’m open to any and all suggestions so please feel free to email me at, catch me on facebook if you know me personally, message me on Twitter, or comment here on this blog. Don’t be shy, I’d love your input!


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