The goal of this project is to create a Black Feminist Eco Lab (BFEL) which focuses on Black feminist geographical and ecological study (McKittrick, Sharpe, etc). The BFEL is envisioned to be a space for theoretical, pedagogical and praxis incubation from which to explore trans-disciplinary, trans-cultural, trans-spatiotemporal, trans-institutional, trans-national, and trans-specifies studies for the benefit and thriving of all communities. The idea for the lab is based on what I am calling the Black Aliveness Model (BAM) which pulls from Kevin Quashie's work on Black Aliveness (2019). This is the ideation phase of the building. During the summer we will be building out what the BFEL and the BAM might look like here at the University of Utah in terms of the structure of the model. We will also be conducting research on potential partners, projects, and grants. We will also be using my research on Brackish possibilities as a potential research a teaching project which could be launched in the academic year 22/24.
The student will be assisting with designing a visual model with accompanying descriptions to represent the BFEL. During the summer we will have several brainstorming sessions with stakeholders on campus to get their input on the design, vision, operation and focus of the lab. We hope to interview stakeholders in Transform, and other partner colleges, the library, the Black Cultural Center, and others. The student will assist in writing a feasibility/stakeholder report and presentation which we hope to use to make our case to the University about the importance of having a BFEL.
Student Learning Outcomes and Benefits
Students will learn how to
- conduct research in the area of Black feminism
- synthesize information gained from research to build a visual model that represents the information
- design interview instruments for the stakeholder sessions
- conduct interviews
- Analyze data
- write a report based on the data analysis
- Design a presentation
- Present data
As a Black feminist I advocate a co-mentorship philosophy. As a co-mentor it means that I recognize that while the student is there to learn from me, I am also there to learn from them. I see mentorship as a Black feminist praxis where students can be prepared and want to eventually become mentors themselves. I think students learn best when we model humility, patience and compassion and blend that with a strong work ethic as well as a Black feminist ethics of care. I am hopeful that any student who has opportunity to be mentored by me gains a love for the work they get to do, the history, the theory, the application. Most of all I hope that the student learns that in all relationships whether it be mentoring or otherwise we respect each other and treat each other like human beings.