Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research

Who Are We?

Administrative Staff

Catherine Fosl, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, is founding Director of the Anne Braden Institute. Dr. Fosl was Anne Braden’s biographer and is the author of Subversive Southerner: Anne Braden and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Cold War South (Palgrave Macmillen, 2002), as well as the books Freedom on the Border:  An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky (co-authored with Tracy E. K’Meyer, University Press of Kentucky, 2009) and Women for All Seasons: The Story of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (1989). Subversive Southerner won the 2003 Oral History Association Book Award and was named an Outstanding Book in 2003 by the Gustavus Myers Center for Human Rights. A new edition of the book was issued in Fall 2006 by University Press of Kentucky.  Through the Institute, Dr. Fosl strives to widen public understanding of Anne Braden’s significance in U.S. social movement history through promoting engaged scholarship grounded in collaboration between researchers and their subjects and producing knowledge that can be acted upon. By providing activists with intellectual tools to enhance their efforts, such knowledge can advance racial and social justice aims. At the same time, the Institute will expose scholars to a greater range of community-based knowledge.

Dionne GriffithsDionne Griffiths joined the ABI as the new program coordinator in late September 2015. She has been an administrator with a variety of nonprofits as well as an advocate for racial justice, gender equity, and economic justice, primarily through the arts. Dionne was a Fulbright Fellow to Trinidad (2006-2007) and she researched dance and choreographed for the Metamorphosis Dance Company. She earned her M.A. in Choreography from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Spelman College with a B.A. in Comparative Women’s Studies. A former grantee of the Kentucky Foundation for Women, Dionne has performed, choreographed, and taught dance nationally and internationally with dance research that focuses on African American identity, social justice, and womanhood. In 2014, from Kentucky state government, she earned her Certificate of Management Fundamentals and was awarded the Kentucky Employees Charitable Campaign Rookie of the Year. Dionne is a 2014 Focus Louisville graduate and a member of the Louisville Chapter of the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College. Her community engagement has included the Louisville Metro Healing Possible Quorum, Louisville YMCA Black Achievers, and the Louisville Urban League. Our whole team is excited to welcome Dionne to the ABI, and we hope you will come by soon and meet her!


Jamie Beard came to the Braden Institute in March 2014 as an administrative assistant. She holds a BA in English from the University of Alabama and brings experience in community-based education, having worked with K-12 students and adults in library, nonprofit, and museum settings. Jamie is thrilled to be at the ABI and hopes to connect knowledge of past freedom struggles to work towards social change today.


Co-Founder, the late Dr. J. Blaine Hudson (1949-2013)

hudsonJ. Blaine Hudson, former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and professor of Pan-African Studies: creator of the Institute, Dr. Hudson was a visionary educator and longtime university and community leader who was also a renowned scholar of African American history. He was the author of Fugitive Slaves and the Underground Railroad in the Kentucky Borderland (2002) and of the Encyclopedia of the Underground Railroad (2006), as well as many articles. He co-authored the book, Two Centuries of Black Louisville: A Photographic History. As a young student activist in the 1960s, Dr. Hudson was mentored by Anne Braden, and they remained friends for nearly 40 years.

The Anne Braden Institute is one of many vehicles through which Dr. Hudson enacted his life-long commitment to connecting history to urban problems and to social change. Another was the Saturday Academy program, a non-credit “open classroom” learning series in African and African American history held in western Louisville. Dr. Hudson pioneered the Saturday Academies in Louisville some years ago and resurrected them in 2005.


Community Advisory Council

Mari Mujica, co-chair

Carla Wallace, co-chair

Keneka L Cheatham

Bob Cunningham

Judi Jennings

Stephanie Kaufman

Shelton McElroy

Sarah Nunez

Shameka Parrish-Wright

Mimi Pickering

Siobhan Smith

Tytianna Smith

Faculty Affiliates

Tomarra Adams, associate professor of Pan-African Studies

David Anderson, associate professor of English

Rhonda Buchanan, director, Latin American and Latino Studies and professor of Spanish

Delinda Buie, professor, curator of rare books, University Libraries*

Nefertiti Burton, associate dean of A&S International Diversity & Engagement Programs, associate professor of Theatre Arts

Carson Byrd, assistant professor of Pan African Studies

Ying Kit Chan, professor and chair of Fine Arts

Dewey Clayton, professor of Political Science

Fannie M. Cox, associate professor, outreach and reference librarian, University of Louisville Libraries*

John Cumbler, professor of History

Margaret D’Silva, professor of Communication

Joy Hart, professor of Communication

Lauren Heberle, associate professor of sociology

Ricky Jones, professor and chair of Pan-African Studies

Lara Kelland, assistant professor of History and Public History

Tracy K’Meyer, professor and chair of History

Avery Kolers, professor of Philosophy

Lisa Markowitz, associate professor of Anthropology

David Owen, associate professor of Philosophy

Rodger Payne, professor and chair of Political Science

Theresa Rajack-Talley, associate professor of Pan-African Studies

Susanna Remold, associate professor of Biology

Siobhan Smith, assistant professor of Communications

Kaila Story, associate professor of Women’s & Gender Studies and Pan-African Studies; Audre Lorde, Chair in Race, Gender, Class & Sexuality Studies

Nancy Theriot, professor and chair of Women’s and Gender Studies

Shelley Thomas, assistant professor of Social Studies Education*

Russ Vandenbroucke, professor and chair of Theatre Arts

Margath Walker, assistant professor of Geography

*= ex-officio

Graduate Assistants and Interns (past and present)

niaNia Holt (2015-present) is currently a Graduate Assistant in the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research and a first-year Master’s student in Urban and Public Affairs.


Mallie Feltner

Mallie Feltner (2014-present) is currently a Graduate Assistant in the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research and a second-year Master’s student in Women and Gender Studies.





antron Antron Mahoney (2016-present) is currently a Graduate Assistant in the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research and a first-year PhD student in Pan-African Studies.





Alexis Johnson (2013-2015), M.A., Pan-African Studies, University of Louisville

Lauren Copeland (2013-2014), M.A., Women and Gender Studies, University of Louisville

Alisha West (2012-2013), M.A., Women and Gender Studies, University of Louisville

Rachel Spears (2012-2013), M.A. candidate, Pan-African Studies, University of Louisville

Tytianna Smith (2011-2012), M.A., Pan-African Studies, University of Louisville

Jenny Stith (2011-2012) M.A., Women and Gender Studies, University of Louisville, clinical certificate in Analytical Psychology, C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago

Tamara Spiller (2010- 2011), M.A., Pan-African Studies, University of Louisville

Tiffany Caesar (2008-2010), M.A., Pan-African Studies, University of Louisville

Jennifer Oladipo (2009-2010) M.A., Pan-African Studies, University of Louisville

Natashia Lindsey (2008-2009) M.A., Pan-African Studies, University of Louisville

Amber Duke  (2007-2009) M.A., Pan African Studies, University of Louisville

K.A. Owens(Intern, Spring 2007) M.A., Humanities/Civic Leadership, University of Louisville

Angela Calloway (2006-2007) PhD, Nursing, and M.A., Pan-African Studies, University of Louisville

Jardana Peacock(2006-2008) M.A., Pan African Studies, University of Louisville

Undergraduate Interns and Work Study Students (past and present)

Cayenne Campbell (2014-present)

Amina Ahmed (2010-2014)

Makayla Moore (2012-2013)

Katy Campbell (2012-2013)

Stephanie Kaufman (2012-2013)

Raven Darko-Mensah (2010-2011)

Carissa House-Dunphy (2009-2012)

Jenna Williams (2009-2010)

Toma Lynn Smith (2008-2009)

Adam Elmaghraby (2007-2008)

Robert Bell (2006-2007)

Posted on Monday, September 21st, 2015 at 8:51 pm



Civil Rights and History

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