Racial Justice and Equality

Series Host, Dr. Gerald Smith

Series Host, Dr. Gerald Smith

This series addresses a multiplicity of issues centered on race and history in Kentucky and America. Invited guests discuss a range of social, political, economic, and cultural topics and themes which shape the racial discussions in our society.  The purpose of the series is to provide information as well as stimulate conversations about the nation's ongoing racial awakening.

The series is hosted by University of Kentucky professor Gerald Smith. Dr. Smith’s focuses include  African American history, Race and Sports, Black Freedom Struggle, African American Education and Kentucky African American history. He is co-chair of Lexington’s Commission for Racial Justice and Equality, and co-editor of the award winning Kentucky African American Encyclopedia. 

The Interviews

September 24, 2020 - “We must make America what America says it is.” In conversation with Dr. William H. Turner - LISTEN

November 19, 2020 - "When I think of 'Black Lives Matter' it's historical, it's entrenched in the very fabric of America." In conversation with Dr. Sandra Weissinger - LISTEN

January 7, 2021 - "I think you can appreciate my desire for us to record our own history rather than to leave it to someone else to interpret." In conversation with the Lexington Urban League's PG Peeples. LISTEN

February 11, 2021 - Conversation with Dr. Dwayne Mack, Berea College VP for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Professor of History. LISTEN

March 25, 2021 - Dr. Smith's guest is Kenneth Goings, Professor Emeritus, 19th- and 20th-Century African American History, Ohio State University. They discuss Dr. Goings book about racist collectibles such as Mammy and Uncle Mose salt and pepper shakers, Aunt Jemima cookie jars and Sambo napkins and how this memorabilia has influenced racial attitudes in America since reconstruction. LISTEN

May 27, 2021 - State Senator Reginald Thomas is Dr. Smith's guest, discussing race relations in Lexington, circa 2021. LISTEN

June 17, 2021 - State Senator Gerald Neal offers a perspective on how the most recent session of the state legislature performed on issues of social and criminal justice. LISTEN

August 16, 2021 - Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig, dean, UK College of Education on Critical Race Theory - LISTEN

September 16, 2021 - Sociologist and author William H. Turner discusses his book "Harlan Renaissance: Stories of Black Life in Appalachian Coal Towns." LISTEN

October 14, 2021 - Bryan Station High School graduate Janisha Watts on becoming Senior Editor on the special projects team at The Atlantic  magazine. LISTEN

December 16, 2021 - Former Cats coach Tubby Smith praises emerging young Black leadership. LISTEN

January 13, 2022 - As Martin Luther King Day approaches, a conversation with one who knew him well: civil rights activist and organizer, scholar and minister, Bernard Lafayette. Dr. Lafayette is co-author  with Kathryn Lee Johnson of In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma (Civil Rights and the Struggle for Black Equality in the Twentieth Century)  LISTEN

February 3, 2022 - The covid vaccination rate among Black Kentuckians trails other segments of the state's population.  And a high rate of diabetes remains a challenge. Gerald Smith hears from one who is making efforts to educate and inform about vaccination and diabetes prevention, Dr. Lovoria  Williams, associate professor in the College of Nursing and Graduate Studies at the University of Kentucky; Director of the Community Health Advocacy Interventions Generating Equity (CHANGE) Team; Assistant Director for Cancer Health Equity at Markey Cancer Center ; Chair of the Markey Center Diversity & Inclusivity Committee and the Cancer Prevention Program. LISTEN

April 21, 2022 - Many firsts for Black American women in recent times: first Black woman Vice President; first Black woman Supreme Court Justice; first Black woman Poet Laureate of Kentucky. Neither Vice President Harris or Justice Jackson could join us (or so at least we assumed), but Crystal Wilkinson found time to chat with Gerald Smith for the latest in his series on racial justice and equality. LISTEN

May 19, 2022 - The lessons of the Senate hearings for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson were not lost on this educator. Gerald Smith hosts Dr. Melynda Price, professor of law and humanities at the University of Kentucky and executive director of UK's Gaines Center. LISTEN