National activists and scholars to deliver lectures on leisure, recreation and segregation
By Deonte Turnley | Feb 22, 2022
MURRAY, Ky. — Cherokee State Resort Historical Park of Aurora, KY, Inc. (CSHRP) and the Office of Multicultural Initiatives, Student Leadership & Inclusive Excellence (OMI) are hosting a groundbreaking symposium on leisure, recreation and segregation on Friday, Feb. 25 beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the Curris Center Theater at Murray State University.
Cherokee State Park opened in 1951 as the only state park for African Americans in Kentucky during a time when public accommodations were segregated. It became a popular Green Book site during this “separate but equal” era. The park closed in 1964 when segregation was outlawed. The historic importance of Cherokee State Park was recognized with a listing on the National Register of Historic Places on Jan. 1, 2009.
For 20 years, CSHRP has been working with the Kentucky Parks Department to promote, preserve and restore the park and its history. In July, the organization received a $50,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2021 African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. This grant will help protect and restore 40 important Black landmarks around the country, including Cherokee Park. As part of the grant, CSHRP is working with OMI to offer this unique symposium on the issue of segregation and recreation.
Presenters include a lineup of nationally renowned scholars and advocates for increasing diversity in outdoor spaces: Dr. Ronald Stephens, Purdue University; Dr. William O’Brien, Florida Atlantic University; Dr. Alison Rose Jefferson, The Getty Conservation Institute; Dr. Brian Clardy, Murray State University; Dr. Nancy J. Dawson, CSHRP; Ms. Henrietta Shelton, Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation; and Mr. Gerry Seavo James, Outdoor Roundtable. The moderator for the day’s activities is Dr. SG Carthell, Executive Director for the Office of Multicultural Initiatives, Student Leadership & Inclusive Excellence.
The event is free and open to the public. To register in advance, visit bit.ly/Register4Cherokee and for additional information, contact the Office of Multicultural Initiatives, Student Leadership & Inclusive Excellence at 270-809-6836 or visit babyfeedingshop.com/omi.