Update on ASP Racial Justice and Decolonization Initiatives

The UW-Madison African Studies Program must provide respite and support for healing from anti-Back racism, as well as a community that amplifies and celebrates the work of scholars that identify as African or of African descent. African Studies must also be a space where we contemplate much more deeply how our relationships, research, teaching, outreach, artistic, and other activities can support decolonization and the voices, work, and wellbeing of African colleagues and institutions.

ASP is launching a number of short-and longer-term initiatives to move us towards achieving these goals. The initiatives are described below, in chronological order. Faculty Director Nancy Kendall will hold a virtual launch of these initiatives and will give our community the opportunity to ask questions and offer feedback on Tuesday, July 14th from 11-12pm. We hope that you will join us.  Learn more and register>

African Diaspora Networks: Reflections for Racial Justice Events

Join us this Thursday, July 9 for a panel on Exploring Global Challenges of African Diasporic Communities: Imagined Identities, Boundaries, and Relations Among People of African Descent, including our own Harry Kiiru (African Cultural Studies) and Bridget Otoo (2017 Mandela Washington Fellow). On Monday, July 13, we will host a follow-up community meeting to continue the conversation and deepen our own reflections on African Diaspora communities and how to support racial justice in ASP, Madison, and around the world. Multiple panel members and organizers will be present for our discussion. Please note: our July 13 event assumes that you attended the July 9 panel or watched a recording of the session. To view a recording, please register for July 9th event. A recording of the panel will be available to all registrants on July 10.

Learn more and register>

Student Racial Justice Grants ($200- $5000)

The African Studies Program will launch a new grant initiative this Summer to support ASP graduate students’ research, outreach, and artistic activities in Madison and/or on the African continent that are aligned with the global Movement for Black Lives and anti-racist efforts, including work focused on health inequities and the consequences of COVID-19, and with community-based organizations. Applications are due on July 26, 2020 at 11:59pm.  Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the July 14 information session with Nancy Kendall.

Apply for Racial Justice Grant>

Register for July 14 event>

Racial Justice Working Group

ASP will be launching a new working group on racial justice, whose aims include creating a five-year plan of action to achieve our shared goals of racial justice and decolonizing the African Studies Program and the university more broadly. Membership is open to all students, faculty, and staff. The group will begin meeting in September.

Learn more and join the working group>

Members of our community who do not wish to join the working group are still invited to share their perspectives using this survey.  The results of the survey will be shared with the African Studies Program director, associate director, steering committee, and members of the Racial Justice Working Group.

Take the survey>

Your active engagement in these programs helps us better understand how we can continue our work to decolonize African Studies at UW-Madison and amplify our work to support anti-racism and the Global Movement for Black Lives. Please join us!