Professors Kremena Todorova and Kurt Gohde shared the Georgia Davis Powers Award on Friday, September 15, for their work in civic education through art. The Award was given by the Kentucky Council for the Social Studies (KCSS).
KCSS is a professional organization that provides networking and professional development to Kentucky social studies teachers. According to their website, the KCSS “membership exists to inform, educate and advocate on behalf of not only social studies educators at all levels (elementary, middle, high and post-secondary), but also of students throughout the Commonwealth.”
Todorova and Gohde are the Georgia Davis Powers Award’s first-ever recipients, and were chosen “for [their] great work with the Unlearn Fear + Hate initiative,” according to Carly Muetterties, the KCSS Council Secretary.
Unlearn Fear + Hate is an ongoing art project created by Todorova and Gohde. Unlearn Fear + Hate installations can be found in downtown Lexington, in Los Angeles, and in Cape Town, South Africa, among many other locations.
Georgia Montgomery Davis Powers was the first person of color and the first woman elected to the Kentucky State Senate. She took her seat, representing Louisville, in 1967.
“We feel tremendously honored to be recognized by KCSS and even more so given that the award is named after Georgia Davis Powers,” Todorova said.
Because of a scheduling conflict, Prof. Gohde was unable to be present for the awards ceremony, which was part of an event in the KCSS annual conference. After the ceremony, a group of panelists reflected on various other non-traditional ways educators can use the classroom to advance discussion of civic issues.