Engaged Scholarship Research/Creative Activities Grant for Faculty from the Engagement Scholarship Consortium

The Speed Art Museum’s Research Committee was awarded the Engaged Scholarship Research/Creative Activities Grant for Faculty from the Engagement Scholarship Consortium. The title of their project is “The Promise:” Arts-Based Socially Engaged Research Exploring the Impact of Race-Based Trauma and Gun Violence in Louisville. The Committee is led by Kent alumni Toya Northington, Community Engagement Strategist, Speed Art Museumand includes Dr. Emma Sterrett-Hong & Dr. Lesley Harris (University of Louisville, Kent School of Social Work), Dr. Jelani Kerr (University of Louisville, School of Public Health and Information Sciences), and Dr. Maurice Gattis (Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Social Work).  

The killings of unarmed Black people, including Breonna Taylor, have led to activism and demands for social change. Collective healing, in which members of Black communities come together for mutual support, validation, and upliftment has been advocated as a trauma recovery practice. Through arts-based, socially engaged research, “The Promise” aims to understand lived experiences of African Americans in Louisville who have experienced racism and gun violence. The project has the potential to empower Black participants to engage in social justice action and arts-based healing. The 9-week project will begin with a workshop on making artwork with guns donated through a gun drive. The remaining weeks will take place at a foundry and participants can create their own artwork. Embedded within workshops will be facilitation of critical conversations around grief, gun violence and racial healing. The framework for these conversations will center on:

  • enabling people to record and reflect community strengths and concerns,
  •  promoting critical dialogue about community issues through discussions of their art, and
  • influencing policymakers to facilitate changes deemed necessary by the community.

Through artmaking and dialogue, participants become catalysts for personal and community change. This program will culminate into a public, arts-advocacy exhibition at the Speed Art Museum in the Spring of 2022. 

The Engagement Scholarship Consortium (ESC), is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit educational organization that is composed of higher education member institutions, a mix of state-public, and private institutions. The goal of the organization is to work collaboratively to build strong university-community partnerships anchored in the rigor of scholarship, and designed to help build community capacity.

ESC promotes opportunities for faculty from Member Institutions to collaborate on opportunities for research and external funding. Member Institutions identify ways that their faculty, staff, students, and community partners can connect with and collaborate on community engagement efforts.