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Uncovering the Dead at the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida
Nelson Initiative on Ethics & Leadership

The George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida will host a live Zoom webinar with former U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and Erin Kimmerle, forensic anthropologist and Director of the Institute of Forensic Anthropology & Applied Science at the University of South Florida. Dr. Kimmerle led a four-year excavation of the infamous reform school, Florida School for Boys, also known as the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys. The school was operated by the state of Florida in Marianna from January 1, 1900 to June 30, 2011. Throughout its 111-year history, the school gained a reputation for abuse, beatings, rapes, torture, and even murder of students by staff. Despite periodic investigations, changes of leadership, and promises to improve, the allegations of cruelty and abuse continued.

Dr. Kimmerle launched the investigation in 2012, uncovering unmarked graves of students. During the four-year dig, Dr. Kimmerle found the remains of 51 boys previously been labelled as missing. She demonstrated that the students of the Florida School for Boys had suffered from sexual abuse, starvation and beatings.

Senator Bill Nelson pushed for federal involvement in the Dozier investigation and helped USF researchers receive a $423,000 grant from the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice. The funding helped fund the DNA technology used to identify the boys’ remains.

For her work on the project, Dr. Kimmerle received the 2020 Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

This event is co-sponsored by the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida.

Nov 20, 2020 10:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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