In early June, a racist incident in Central Park sparked #BlackBirdersWeek: a week-long social media effort which celebrated and amplified the voices of Black nature enthusiasts. Since then, several social media movements have emerged to celebrate Black academics across a variety of disciplines, including #BlackInAstro (June 22 - 26), #BlackBotanistsWeek (July 6 - 11) and #BlackInAnimalBehaviour (July 23 - 27).
#BlackInNeuro is in progress. Between July 27th and August 2nd, organizers have developed several activities to celebrate Black excellence in all things neuroscience, including panels and discussions on neuroracism, graduate school journeys, and more. Organizers have also asked for participants to share pop talks (a short one-minute introduction video) – never an easy task.
Instead of trying to capture all of these stories in words, here are some you should dive into and share.
Meet Mia Larrieu, an incoming PhD student who will be studying the behaviour of chickadees.
Wondering how many Black women have earned a PhD in astronomy in the US? Check out #BlackInAstro.
Learn about Taylor Harris’ journey into plants:
Why are campaigns like this important?
Have you ever tried to explain your research in one minute, using accessible language? Here’s #BlackInNeuro co-organizer, Ti’Air Riggins, talking about microelectrode arrays (aka brain probes).
Since June, Black academics have been sharing their experiences in academia, from microaggressions to physical threats. Massive Science editor, Cassie Freund, spoke to #BlackInTheIvory co-founder, Dr. Shardé Davis, about this:
Additional campaigns along these lines are already being planned, with #BlackInChem set to take place between August 10-15th. And, importantly, a group of Black ecologists recently penned a comment in Nature’s Ecology & Evolution, calling for an acceptance of the “full expression of Black excellence in all its forms,” pointing out that these social media movements demonstrate the many forms of Black scholarship and community engagement, and should also be recognized in guidelines for tenure, promotion and hiring.