Faculty Spotlight, Dr. Donielle Lovell!
- Peer Mentor, Ashlee Gilbert
- Friday, October 23rd, 2020
The Department of Sociology and Criminology will be highlighting the work of our amazing faculty and students throughout the rest of the fall semester. We would like to begin by highlighting Dr. Donielle Lovell for her contributions to the ongoing conversation about racial injustice throughout several Kentucky communities.
In 2015 Dr. Lovell, along with Department Head, Dr. Drummond, conducted research on racial and ethnic disparities in juveniles from Hardin and Christian County. Specifically, their research sought to identify which points in the juvenile justice system had these disparities.
Dr. Lovell’s research has changed the way these communities view racial injustice. Shortly after finishing her research, a collaboration ensued between Hardin County school districts and law enforcement to examine ways to reduce racial disparities in school. Out of this program also came training for restorative justice and a diversion program, which allows children to meet with the Juvenile Justice Coordinator to discuss the consequences their actions may have to themselves and others.
Dr. Lovell’s research also inspired her to run for a state representative seat in 2018, where she engaged in communal conversations about state and local politics and how they fit into discussions of juvenile justice. Additionally, Dr. Lovell used her research to train teachers in Elizabethtown School District in implicit and racial bias in August 2020 .
Dr. Lovell states that society’s shift to a virtual format during the COVID-19 pandemic has interfered with having important policy discussions. “It makes having conversations on racial injustice more difficult,” she stated.
We are so proud of Dr. Lovell for her work as an advocate for racial justice for juveniles. Her research has inspired policies, programs, and conversations that will continue to have a lasting effect in our community and beyond.