Samara Davis to Discuss ‘Breaking Barriers in Bourbon’

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 12, 2022) — The University of Kentucky will welcome Samara Davis, founder of the Black Bourbon Society, to campus for a conversation about her work in digital media and how she has helped to reshape Kentucky’s bourbon industry.

“Breaking Barriers in Bourbon: Digital Media, Diversity, and the Black Bourbon Society” will take place at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, in the Singletary Center Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Davis will discuss her success as a social media influencer and culture creator by explaining how she leveraged her work in digital media to found the Black Bourbon Society and the nonprofit organization, Diversity Distilled. Her work in both areas has helped to reshape Kentucky’s $8.6 billion industry to be more inclusive of Black Americans.

Davis' visit to UK is part of UK Libraries’ Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History’s “Women in Bourbon Oral History Project," and she will participate in an interview while on campus. 

“Samara Davis' success story as the founder of the Black Bourbon Society and Diversity Distilled is both empowering and inspiring for aspiring entrepreneurs and especially validating for Black women,” said JWells and Janice Fernheimer, both faculty in the UK Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies, in a joint statement. “Interviewing her for the Women in Bourbon Oral History Project as part of the Black Women in Bourbon Initiative will not only document her powerful story but also create materials, resources and mentorship models that help Black women navigate predominately white male spaces like the bourbon industry.”

The event is part of the UK College of Arts and Sciences' Passport to the World series. This year’s theme is the “Year of Culture Without Borders.” The event is sponsored by the Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies; the Martin Luther King Center; the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies; and the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.