Show Transcript (pdf)
When millions of people across the United States took to the streets in protest following the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, they ignited a racial reckoning across all sectors of American society. This episode, we talk about the process of racial reckoning on our campus: what does it mean to reckon with the history of racism at the University of Wisconsin—Madison?
Kacie Lucchini Butcher, Director of the Public History Project, explains how the Public History Project fits in to the process of confronting racism and exclusion in the past and present at UW-Madison. One year into the Project, she shares the patterns and themes researchers have identified so far: the persistence of racism and discrimination at UW-Madison throughout its history; the dogged efforts of student activists to call out and resist exclusion; and the recurring justifications employed by university administration to defend its inaction.
Kacie emphasizes that the process of reckoning involves first establishing shared knowledge of what happened in the past, and then taking action to create a more just and equitable future. At UW, she contends, this requires enacting policy measures and—more importantly—social and cultural change throughout the campus community.
05:53 The genesis and goals of the Public History Project
16:37 The process of reckoning with the history of racism at UW-Madison
19:33 Themes and patterns the Public History Project has identified so far in this history
39:40 Taking action through policy, social, and cultural change
48:11 How to get involved with the Public History Project
The Public History Project was created in response to a recommendation in the Report to the Chancellor on the Ku Klux Klan at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. The full report is available online through the UW website.
Learn more about the Public History Project at its website. Kacie and her student researchers also share their findings on Instagram, where you can follow them @uwpublichistoryproject.
If you have tips for the Public History Project or would like to get involved, you can get in touch with the researchers over email: email@example.com
Kacie previously curated the exhibit “Owning Up: Racism and Housing in Minneapolis” at the Hennepin History Museum. The digital exhibit is available online at the exhibit’s website.
Our music is Pamgaea by Kevin MacLeod, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.
Please send us your questions for a historian: firstname.lastname@example.org