2023, Summer 2021
- Independent Scholar
The Black Center: Tracing the Strategies and Capacity of African Diasporic Arts and Cultural Networks
"The Black Center" explores the influence and impact of global Black-founded and led arts and cultural centers as sites of community belonging, memory, and activism in pursuit of racial and other forms of justice. Exploring the diverse range of Black centers from an African Diasporic cross-comparative perspective, this project recognizes the intersecting and divergent issues of racism that Black communities have faced due to the legacies of enslavement, segregation, colonialism, and other forms of oppression. This project is foregrounded by Black artistic development beginning in the 20th Century, which served as a part of global movements for civil rights and decolonization. During this period, Black artists globally harnessed their art and created institutions to advocate for increased autonomy and self-rule while identifying their aesthetic values and sense of cultural identity. Ultimately, this project will identify and document how these local institutions, within a global context, have endured and enhanced the creative, social, and aspirational needs of Black communities.
Appointed to The Hurston/Wright Foundation for the project “Measuring Success and Charting Our Future.”
Thirty years ago, the Hurston/Wright Foundation started as a space to nurture Black writers and to foster and encourage their voices and craft. Since then, the foundation has created a thriving pipeline of writers who center Black culture and experiences in the literary art they create. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the foundation conducts writing workshops, master classes, public readings, and writing competitions. The Leading Edge Fellow will join Hurston/Wright’s team as the Research and Evaluation Manager, and use data, research, performance metrics, personal narratives, and qualitative and quantitative data analysis to promote racial justice and equity in the literary arts. The fellow will focus on developing a series of benchmark, evaluation, and performance management tools that help Hurston/Wright to document industry best practices, assess the Foundation’s value and competitive edge, track its progress in meeting core program objectives, and strengthen organizational capacity though the development of a three-year program plan. This research will help deepen public support for Black literary organizations and strengthen the case for funding our work.