The University of Louisville Office of Diversity has been showing its 1:56-minute “2014 Diversity Mission Statement” video to new students and employees alike since releasing it in August. It is also posted on the office website,

“UofL has a compelling vision for diversity that steers our efforts and helps us set institutional goals,” said Brian Buford, assistant provost for diversity and LGBT Center director. “But we realized that not everyone has seen the vision or knows how important it is.  So the video was a way to bring the vision to life and make it accessible to our campus by using members of our own community as the stars.”

The video features President James Ramsey, Provost Shirley Willihnganz, Vice Provost for Diversity and International Affairs Mordean Taylor-Archer, former Cardinals basketball standout Russ Smith, other administrators, faculty and students reading the mission statement—including reading some of it in Spanish and translating via American Sign Language. Produced by the LGBT Center’s Katy Garrison, the video can be seen here.

Buford said it was fun trying to represent as many dimensions of the university as possible.

“There were many moments when we would be thinking, ‘Wait, did we do a good job of representing a spectrum of different ages and generations?  What about people from both Belknap and Health Sciences?’ and on and on until we felt like we’d represented our campus as fully as possible,” he said.

This is the second diversity video produced by the university, Buford said, adding that Taylor-Archer uses tools like video as a way of bringing a fresh perspective to the work of keeping diversity in the forefront of UofL’s growth as a campus.

“We know we are the most diverse research university in the state, and we want to celebrate that fact.  We also want to reach those considering UofL as a place to work or attend school that they will find a spirit of inclusion, equity and support here,” Buford said.

Janet Cappiello covers student success for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She has more than 30 years’ experience in journalism, including working for The Associated Press and magazines such as Vegetarian Times and Sustainability: The Journal of Record. She has been at UofL since 2014.