Happy Black History Month!
Since we were founded in April 2020, we have run a digital campaign every October. In our first year, we had #7in1000 highlighting the results from our Participation of Black students in geography report. Last year, #BlackFacesWhiteSpaces, we distributed over 100+ books written by Black authors related to geography, nature and the outdoors.
This year, we're running a new campaign focused on the futures of Black research. Throughout the month of October, we will be sharing work from Black researchers, across disciplines, on our Twitter and Instagram.
Since June 2020, we have hosted 13 interns as part of Fi Wi Road co-ordinated by Cynthia Nkiruka Anyadi and Prof. Pat Noxolo. Through group sessions, one-to-one mentoring, skills workshops, and hands-on research experience, the ‘Fi Wi Road’ internship supports Black students in building networks, voice and experience, encouraging them to stay within a discipline in which black geographers are consistently under-represented, and often brutally marginalised and squeezed out.
The phrase ‘Fi Wi Road’ comes from Jamaican poet Kei Miller (2014), in a collection that contends with conventional cartography’s colonial violence and considers Jamaican people’s own modes of place-making. Within a similar mood of working towards the joyful freeing of our own futures, the Fi Wi Road internship centres black geography undergraduate voices within the discipline and their own modes of making place and space, valuing the joy and creativity (and voicing the pain and isolation), through which they are making their own futures.
In late September, our Fi Wi Road interns organised a Black Research Futures Fair at The University of Birmingham. The fair offered an online and in person creative space for Black heritage researchers to imagine alternative futures for themselves in research spaces. Researchers from around the world and from all disciplines came together to network, share and work towards building research spaces that are radically open and empowering for Black researchers.
Find out more about The Fi Wi Road internship, https://fiwiroad.blackgeographers.com/