KSU to host Atwood Day Assembly on March 25

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky State University in Frankfort will celebrate the observance of Atwood Day in remembrance of the late Rufus B. Atwood, the school’s ninth and longest-serving president, Thursday, March 25 at 11 a.m. during its Atwood Day Assembly.

The public can view this event on Zoom using meeting ID 980 1850 3350 and passcode 391226.

Dr. William H. Turner, interim director of the Center for Research on the Eradication of Educational Disparities (CREED), will provide the keynote address, entitled “Democracy and the Continuing American Dilemma with Racism.”

Turner, the fifth of 10 children, was born in 1946 in the coal town of Lynch, Kentucky, in Harlan County. His grandfathers, father, four uncles and older brother were coal miners.

Turner served as interim president from 2002 to 2004 and as a distinguished visiting scholar for the Center for Research on the Eradication of Educational Disparities (CREED). Turner recently came back to the Hill to serve as interim director of CREED.

According to his website, Turner “is best-known for his ground-breaking research on African-American communities in Appalachia. As an academic and a consultant, he has studied economic systems and social structures in the urban South and burgeoning Latino communities in the Southwest.”

Turner co-edited “Blacks in Appalachia” and essays on Black Appalachians in the “Encyclopedia of Southern Culture” and the “Encyclopedia of Appalachia.”

Born in Harlan County, Kentucky, Turner’s knowledge of the region was praised by “Roots” author Alex Haley, who said Turner knows more about Black people in the mountains of the South than anyone in the world. Turner served as a research associate to Haley from 1979-1991.

Turner earned a bachelor’s in sociology at the University of Kentucky; a master’s in sociology at the University of Notre Dame; a Ph.D. in sociology and anthropology at Notre Dame and post-doctoral work at University of Pennsylvania and Duke University.

Atwood Day is an initiative of the Atwood Institute for Race, Education, and the Democratic Ideal.

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