2020 Clyde Woods Black Geographies Specialty Group Graduate Student Paper Award Winner

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On behalf of the 2020 Clyde Woods Black Geographies Specialty Group Graduate Student Paper Award Committee, the Board is pleased to announce that this year’s winner is Kaily Heitz, with a paper titled “Unfolding the Frame: The Geographic Matter of Black Life, Image and Form.”  Kaily is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley and a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow. In this promising work, the author argues that the imaginaries of Oakland as a Black space in the midst of advancing gentrification and displacement must be explored simultaneously as the commoditized form that facilitates development, and as a formulation of Black struggle and refusal. This essay looks specifically at the photographic image as a Black space through which Oakland is (re)produced in order to understand how circulated media images navigate contradicting claims to space, and the ambiguity between the identity and lived experience of a place.

Congratulations to Kaily Heitz from the Black Geographies Specialty Group Executive Board!
The goal of the BGSG Graduate Student Paper Award is to honor the legacy of late scholar Dr. Clyde Woods by supporting graduate students whose work focuses on Black geographies. Woods invested his time in the intellectual life of Black studies and with Black scholars, particularly students. Woods was known for providing intellectual validity to students who were unable to divorce embodied and alternative knowledge systems from their scholarship. Instead, Woods mentored students towards scholarly interventions that deciphered new practices and social visions. In the wake of Woods’ passing, his legacy has permeated a new generation of Black Geographies scholars. As with the students Woods mentored directly, this generation is working towards the transformation of scientific inquiry, resisting the exclusion of indigenous intellectual traditions of Black landscapes and geographic thought found in their projects. The award winner will work with Antipode’s Editorial Collective to prepare their paper for peer review and, if successful, publication as an open-access article in the journal Antipode. Throughout this process, the author will receive mentorship from a senior scholar on the Antipode team. Antipode will also host a forum about the paper on the AntipodeFoundation.org platform, inviting two scholars to write responses.

At COP25, Women’s Rights and Climate Activists Advocate a Feminist Green New Deal 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 10th, 2019

At COP25, Women’s Rights and Climate Activists Advocate a Feminist Green New Deal

At the UN climate negotiations in Madrid, climate justice and women’s rights activists speak to collective feminist demands for Green New Deal policies, programs

www.feministgreennewdeal.com

Contact: Mara Dolan, Women’s Environment and Development Organization, mara@wedo.org, 217-550-8433

MADRID, SPAIN — In the midst of the global climate talks this week in Madrid, Spain, climate justice and women’s rights activists introduced a set of collective feminist demands to help advance the Green New Deal, in the US and around the world. At 12pm inside the talks, with an audience of both country delegates and civil society, a broad coalition of activists spoke to the need for feminist climate policy.

The activists represented a range of organizations working on climate, environmental, immigrant, racial, economic, and gender justice, and the coalition includes the Sierra Club, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), the NAACP, MADRE, the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance among others. The coalition’s campaign aims to ensure that gender and global justice, climate justice, and human and Indigenous rights are at the core of climate programs and policies at every level of governance.

The “Feminist Green New Deal Principles” launched earlier this summer during UN Climate Week call for Green New Deal policies and actions to “advance a transformative feminist agenda that centers the leadership of women, and acknowledges and addresses the generational impacts of colonization and anti-Black racism. It must end oppression against and be led and articulated by frontline, impacted communities – especially women of color, Black women, Indigenous women, people with disabilities, LGBTQIAP+ people, people from the Global South, migrant and refugee communities, and youth.” The 10 key principles call for advancing reproductive justice, the creation of regenerative economies centered on feminist analysis and understanding of the care economy, a shift from exploitative and unsustainable production patterns and a rejection of false solutions to the climate crisis.

Speakers at the event included Katherine Quaid of WECAN, Bridget Burns of WEDO, Dr. Jacqueline Patterson, Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, and Dr. Frances Roberts-Gregory, an academic studying gender and the environment at the University of California, Berkeley, moderated by Osprey Orielle Lake of WECAN.

“80% of the biodiversity left on the Earth exists within Indigenous territories, primarily because of our relationship to nature, and so fighting to protect Indigenous sovereignty and rights is important to everyone’s future. In my community and in many Indigenous communities, women are the ones holding this knowledge and are vital to passing that onto future generations. Indigenous Women’s leadership must be centered if we want to save our planet.” said Katherine Quaid (Nez Perce/Cayuse/Paiute), WECAN Communications and Outreach Coordinator.

“When frontline women lead, we win. There are many examples of campaigns where feminist principles of organizing around systemic change were the key to success. To advance the true systems change we need, in the face of climate change, the Green New Deal must be rooted in feminist principles and practices. In the face of cancer clusters, asthma clusters, and violence against women as a result of the disproportionate placement of toxic facilities in communities of color and low-income communities, women of color are rising into leadership,” said Jaqui Patterson, Sr. Director, Environmental and Climate Justice Program NAACP.

“We have to situate ourselves and see that the personal is political, and the political is personal,” stated Frances Roberts-Gregory, an academic studying gender and the environment at the University of California, Berkeley. She added, “I conduct research with women of color on how they navigate relationships with energy and petrochemical industries, resist environmental racism, and imagine and advocate for energy and climate solutions. Often these groups are viewed as vulnerable, but they are resilient and they are change makers. They are the future we are looking for when we talk about climate justice.”

Bridget Burns, Director of WEDO, offered a final analysis with,“When we try to create climate action without gender justice, we fail. When we try to deliver climate action without racial justice, we fail. When we try to do this without the rights of Indigenous peoples, we fail. If we fail to understand the deep intersection between misogyny, white supremacy, rising right wing fascism, and climate denialism, we fail.”

In addition to presenting their collective demands, the event concluded with next stages of the Feminist Green New Deal coalition work, which includes growing in congressional influence, providing policy tools, and building popular support for the demands.

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Link to website: www.feministgreennewdeal.com // #FemGND

In Solidarity: Statement on Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in Southern Africa, Africa Specialty Group of the AAG

In our support of the Africa Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers, we share their statement on Cyclones Idai and Kenneth that have devastated Southern Africa in recent months. Please consider their call to action in support of the people and the lands of Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.

In solidarity,
The Black Geographies Specialty Group

Statement on Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in Southern Africa

We, the Africa Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers, are full of sorrow over the catastrophic events in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.  In the past weeks, over 750 people across southern Africa have been reported dead, over 500,000 people have been displaced, and cholera has spread due to flooding conditions.  Mozambique’s fourth-largest city, Beira, has been decimated, and over 700,000 hectares of food crops in Mozambique have been destroyed.  In addition, an even stronger Cyclone Kenneth has followed Cyclone Idai in Northern Mozambique.

Local and international groups have organized relief efforts, but tremendous challenges remain ahead.  The ASG wishes to encourage members of the ASG and wider AAG community to lend support by continuing to spread the word regarding these catastrophic events. Members may wish to consult this list of aid organizations that are working in the region:

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/how-to-help-cyclone-victims-in-mozambique-malawi-and-zimbabwe

Individual members of the Africa Specialty Group have also recommended support for the following organizations.

Doctors Without Borders

https://www.msf.org/msf-response-wake-devastating-cyclone-idai-mozambique-malawi-zimbabwe

Mozambican forum Alternactiva with the National Peasant Union and Women’s Forum (This will specifically support farmers and women of Sofala Province)

https://fundly.com/mozambique-idai-cyclone-call-for-support-peasants-women

Health Alliance International

https://healthallianceinternational.org/cyclone-idai-take-action-now-to-support-relief-efforts/

Zimbabwe Musicians Union (ZIMU)

https://www.gofundme.com/f/cyclone-idai-zimbabwe-relief

At times like this, a little good deed gets that much greater than the greatest good intention not acted upon. Please do the little that you can to help. We welcome any other ideas for a greater collective effort.

Joseph Zume, ASG President

(anti)Blackness in American Metropolis (Audio)

(anti)Blackness in the American Metropolis was hosted in Baltimore, Maryland November 2-03, 2018 by Drs. Willie J. Wright, Adam Bledsoe, Yousuf Al-Bulushi. The gathering was meant to address the expression of (anti)Blackness in American cities and to bring together conversations in Black Studies and urban geography. Thanks to the generosity of Brian Williams and Akira Drake Rodriquez of AntiPod, the podcast for Antipode, some sessions were recorded and have been made available for a wider audience. Conversations are also available via twitter by searching #BlackMetropolis.

Please direct questions regarding these sessions and the symposium to: urbangeographysymposium@gmail.com

Panels

(Dis)placement and (Dis)possession

Dominic Moulden (ONE-DC)
“Radical Cartographers and Radical Organizing: Mapping Black Resistance to Displacement, Disposability, and Dispossession”

Akira Rodriguez (Univ of Pennsylvania – School of Design)
“The Limits of Black Feminist Representation in the Neoliberal Politics of Public Housing”

Brandi Summers (Virginia Commonwealth Univ – African American Studies) “The Corner: Spatial Aesthetics and Black Bodies in Place”

Municipal Movements and Public Policy

Akil Bukari (MXGM-Jackson)

Noel Didla (City of Jackson)

Arekia Bennett (Executive Director, Mississippi Votes)

Laboring and Surviving in the City

Kafui Attoh (CUNY – Urban Studies) “Uber’s Racial Strategy and Our Own”

Katie Wells (Georgetown Univ – Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor) “From Entrepreneurialism to Uberization: Urban Governance in the Age of Apps”