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Will Tchakirides

Oral Historian, HBCU Radio Preservation Project

Will Tchakirides is a public historian, with specializations in oral history project development and digital content curation. As a doctoral student, he created the "African Americans in the Milwaukee Police Department Oral History Project" and chaired the Oral History Committee of the "March on Milwaukee" 50th anniversary celebration.

Will has also worked with oral history collections at museums to tell community-based stories.

Most recently, he co-curated the Smithsonian’s Washington DC Women Speak project, which interprets women’s interviews drawn from six archived collections at the Anacostia Community Museum. Before that, he assisted on the Smithsonian’s Our Shared Future: Reckoning with Our Racial Past initiative. Among other contributions, he researched oral histories from across the institution to feature on the project’s website.

When he is not enjoying the privilege of recording the HBCU radio community’s stories, Will is hard at work finishing a book manuscript that explores how inquests shaped police power and resistance to state violence in Black Power-era Milwaukee. It is based on his dissertation, “‘Accountable to No One’: Confronting Police Power in Black Milwaukee,” which traces the long history of race, policing, and protest in Wisconsin’s largest city.

Will earned his PhD in History from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2020 and an MA in Public History from American University in 2011. He now resides in Houston, Texas with his lovely wife and cattle dog.