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NWIAA Kentucky Chairperson

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Dr. Nancy J. Dawson

Dr. Nancy J. Dawson, (A native of Kansas City, Kansas.), has worked for more than 20 years in higher education as both a professor and director of an African American Studies program. Her career includes fulltime faculty positions at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and Austin Peay State University. In addition, she has been a consultant for the Center for Community Engagement at Albany State University and the National Park Service.  A published writer, Dawson edited the Frederick Douglas Encyclopedia and has contributed to various scholarly  journals.  Early in her career, Dawson was a journalist  at the Kansas City Call and the Kansas State Globe newspapers.  It is in this capacity, that she first took an interest in the “Black Press”.  Dr. Dawson has been recognized by Kentucky State University(KSU) as an upcoming minority small farmer and she serves on the Cooperative Extension Board and the Council for Research and Teaching and Education for KSU.  In addition, she is president of  a newly formed agriculture organization, AgFirst Community Cooperative of Kentucky.  Her urban farm, Russellville Urban Gardening Project ( has received numerous awards. She is also the owner of Music is Spirit, a cultural educational performance company. Lastly, she is  a professional textile quilt artist; having exhibited across the United States.