Notes on Creating Livable Futures: Black Motherhood, Medical Inhumanity and Reimagining Care


Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society Fellowships




The Afiya Center


“Notes on Creating Livable Futures" examines the role of storytelling in reproductive justice work. It explores how Black women in their creative and critical writing, oral storytelling, and performance represent traumatic experiences of pregnancy and childbirth while also imagining just futures. Designed in collaboration with Marsha Jones and The Afiya Center team in Dallas, TX, this project advances conversations central to reproductive justice: the right not to have children, and the right to give birth and raise children with dignity and care. During the fellowship year, this project will draw on various modes to engage with communities of Black women and girls in the North Texas area as well as share this work publicly through venues such as: symposia, performance, and storytelling circles, much of which will be preserved in a digital archive. The Afiya Center serves as an integral space for this work given their commitment to undoing reproductive oppression through their advocacy for Black women and girls with regard to sexual and reproductive health. In addition to this public-facing scholarship, this project will highlight the value of the humanities in responding to critical issues of our time, and to guide PhD students toward career options that perform this work in deeper ways.