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About DRVK

Documenting Racial Violence in Kentucky refutes long-standing, but false claims that a milder form of racism existed in Kentucky than in other southern states. This project researches and develops biographies of every person who was lynched in Kentucky between 1880 and 1955 using historical tools like census record data, birth and death certificates, and newspaper articles. 

It also encourages cooperation across the Commonwealth as community members come to terms with the events of the past, memorialize injustice, and encourage reconciliation.

The project provides undergraduate students with essential experiential learning and encourages career readiness.  Student interns practice the detective work that archival research requires, learning to use microfilm, census records, court transcripts, city directories, property deeds and more, under the careful direction of professor advisors. 

Contact: To speak with a specialist about Documenting Racial Violence in Kentucky, click here.

Fall 2021/Spring 2022

Faculty and staff team

Melanie Beals Goan, Ph.D., History Interns Supervisor and website content editor. Specialist in Kentucky history, Appalachian history, women and gender in Kentucky, healthcare, undergraduate career development.

  Nikki Brown, Ph.D., Managing editor.  Specialist in African Americans women’s history, race and visual culture, and long Civil Rights Movement of the 20th Century

Jennifer Hootman, MLIS, M.A., Librarian, Digital Design and Data Management.  Specialist in Digital Scholarship, History

 Lynn Roche Phillips, Ph.D. Geography Interns Superviser and website content editor. Specialist in cartography, ARC/GIS, sprawl, urban planning, growth management, political culture 

Interns for academic year 2021-2022

Dilni Abeyrathne – ARC/GIS Undergraduate Director of Mapping; Major: Environmental & Sustainability Studies, Geography, International Studies

 Shaina Belford – Research Co-Editor, Major: Philosophy, French

 Qwenton Briggs – Research Co-Editor, Major: History. Graduated Spring 2021

 Kayleigh Dayka – Research co-editor, Major: History

 Gracie Henderson – Research Co-editor, Public Relations coordinator, Major: History

 Joe Noce – Research Co-Editor, Major: History. Graduated Spring 2021

 Sarah Roach – ARC/GIS, Story-Map content creator and editor, Major: Geography

 Cameron Smith Research Co-Editor, Major: History, Philosophy

Fall 2022/Spring 2023

Fall 2022 History Undergraduates in the course, His 351/AAAS 400: History Detectives

Martin Alfaya – Research Co-Editor, Major: History. Graduation: Fall 2023

Taylor Biggs – Research Co-Editor, Major: ICT (Information, Communication, and Technology). Graduation: Spring 2023

Ethen Kestler – Research Co-Editor, Major: History. Graduation: Spring 2023

Elijah Odorizzi – Research Co-Editor, Major: Secondary Social Studies Education. Graduation: Fall 2023

Dylan Post

Kiara Rizzuti – Research Co-Editor, Major: Secondary Social Studies Education. Graduation: Spring 2023

Farris Shakadih

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