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Racial injustice focus of event sponsored by newly-funded UK research institute

The Documenting Racial Violence in Kentucky project

The history of racial violence in Kentucky and how it connects to racial injustices today… that’s the basis of a talk at the University of Kentucky on Thursday. It’s sponsored by a relatively new program that highlights UK’s growing body of research into Black history.

"It's simultaneously an incubator and a think tank, and then also a showcase."
Anastasia Curwood, Director of the Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies

That’s Anastasia Curwood describing the Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies, which she directs. It’s a part of the UK Department of History and African American and Africana Studies that enables faculty research and interdisciplinary collaboration. The university announced permanent funding for the institute earlier this year.

Curwood says they have several research projects in the works, such as an initiative researching the history of UK and the city of Lexington in regard to slavery and the domestic slave trade.

"We [also] have a computer learning project that is taking oral histories of apartheid in South Africa and having a machine, a computer, learn to go through those oral history interviews and identify patterns. So we'll be able to see additional information about what people went through during the apartheid era in South Africa."
Anastasia Curwood, Director of the Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies

Tomorrow there’s a talk by senior attorney for the Equal Justice Initiative, John Dalton. He’s represented clients on Alabama’s death row, children sentenced to die in prison, and other individuals with unfair convictions or sentences. The talk is titled “Community Remembrance: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Injustice in America.” It connects his experience with research from UK’s Documenting Racial Violence in Kentucky project. The talk is free and open to the public at 4 p.m. Thursday, in the William T. Young Library’s Athletic Association Auditorium.