Join us for an interactive conversation about how Black Americans describe their unique relationships to urban land. Mistinguette Smith will offer a brief talk about her ten years of interviews about how Black people outside the academy describe the meanings they ascribe to their practices of land use and care, followed by a participatory conversation about how race and land shape autonomy, community, and social and environmental regeneration.
When Mistinguette Smith began to notice that Black Americans think and talk about their relationship to land and place quite differently from the ways mainstream institutions do, The Black/Land Project was born. As the founding director of the Black/Land Project, she has travelled the country gathering Black stories about relationships to southern farmland, urban city-scapes, changing neighborhoods, and public green spaces since the fall of 2010. Blending her literary ear as a poet and essayist with her professional knowledge of women’s health, food security, and community development for social equity, Smith turns the gift of individual stories into a body of information that engages and heals Black communities. Smith is a skilled analyst, trainer, and facilitator, and a masterful speaker who captivates both academic and community audiences. She has been the Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist at the University of Michigan Center for the Education of Women, and an Encore Public Voices Fellow.
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