What does it mean to center the Midwest as a site of radical Black struggle and possibility? Since our inaugural convening in the fall of 2019, Black midwestern communities have been at the center of some of the nation’s most visible racial upheavals, while Black midwestern organizers, artists, writers, thinkers, and scholars have been at the forefront of movements for social justice and have taken the lead in imagining otherwise possibilities. The theme of this year’s symposium, “Presence & Protest,” takes off from the premise that we—Black Midwesterners—know what we need and that our presence in places urban and rural, large and small, under-resourced and overdeveloped is essential to rejecting regimes of scarcity, carcerality, violence, and environmental degradation that continue to oppress Black people, Black communities, and Black institutions within the Midwest and beyond. Our gathering is testament to our faith in each other and a commitment to continuing to build together, despite all that works against our collectivity.
Wayne County Community College District, Curtis L. Ivery Downtown Campus
1001 W Fort St, Detroit, MI 48226