Call for Graduate Student Participants: Race, Environment and Spirituality Mini-Workshop

From Dr. Priscilla McCutcheon (University of Louisville) and Dr. Ellen Kohl (St. Mary’s College of Maryland)

We are looking for a few more graduate students to participate in our upcoming Antipode Foundation funded conference: “Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters:” The role of spirituality in African American Environmental Activism.  We will host the conference from March 1-3, 2018 at the University of Louisville.


This conference brings together activists, spiritual leaders, and academics to explore the intersections of race, environmental activism and spirituality. From the times of slavery through the Civil Rights movement, spirituality has played a critical role in the radical activism of African Americans in the U.S. At the same time, spirituality has remained an understudied component of environmental activism.  Through this conference, we intend to explore the role of spirituality among African Americans in environmental activism, and in the process, expand our understanding of environmental activism.


The conference will begin with an opening reception followed by a panel sessions where academics, activist, and spiritual leaders will explore the core questions of the conference:


  1. How does spirituality influence African American involvement in environmental activism?
  2. What specific spiritual expressions do we see in African American environmentalism?
  3. How do African Americans spiritual engagement with the environment helps us to expand our definition of spirituality more broadly?
  4. How does an engagement with spirituality expand our understanding of what activism is?


The conference will build on the themes introduced in the opening panel.  It will be devoted to idea sharing, paper presenting, and collaborative learning.  Conference participants will workshop papers or sermons prepared in advance by conference participants.  We will also have plenty of opportunities for people to share best practices and vision for the future.  The conference will conclude with a vision session for the future where both academic goals and community based goals will be discussed.  The conference is organized around regional clusters to help to facilitate work beyond the conference.


Participants will write a 750-1000 paper on the above themes related their work in environmental justice, food justice, or conservation. We are interested in scholars who are working closely with activists or spiritual organizations for their dissertation work.


If you are interested, please submit a 200-word abstract by January 23rd for a potential worship paper to or


This work is supported by an International Workshop Award from the Antipode Foundation. Limited travel funding is available.



Priscilla and Ellen

Published by blackgeographies

Website for the Black Geographies Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers.

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