A Message from the Executive Director
As events unfolded surrounding the Breonna Taylor grand jury announcement on September 23, it may have surprised many of you to see the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History as the venue for the announcement. As members and supporters of the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS), I can imagine your concern for the safety and security of Kentucky’s historic collections, research materials, and staff.
Let me assure you that our staff worked with multiple local and state agencies and law enforcement groups in the lead up to and throughout the day to make sure the security of our collections was never compromised.
Since the beginning of this pandemic, along with the calls for social justice, KHS staff and supporters have continued to offer programs and community conversations that highlight history’s (and historical organizations’) relevance to current events. KHS may not have taken the role to provide historical context or interpretation, but we were able to serve the Commonwealth at this historic moment.
KHS must be bold and embrace this role even when it comes with risk or if the results are at odds with public or our own opinion. If we do not, we will never be the organization who can self-reflect on history’s role to address systemic racism and inequality, let alone encourage others to do the same.
It was a difficult day, not only for KHS, but also for the Taylor family and many of our fellow Kentuckians. We witnessed first-hand the anguish and fatigue. The history of that day continues to unfold before us with our mission statement always on my mind. The “challenges of the future” are now here, and KHS will continue to use history to engage all Kentuckians.
Kentucky Historical Society