Learning Geography at/from/with HBCUs

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups: Graduate Student Affinity Group, Careers and Professional Development, Black Geographies Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Wilson C, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Organizers: Douglas Allen
Chairs: Douglas Allen


“It is generally accepted that HBCUs [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] provide the best opportunity to expose African American students to Geography” (http://www.aag.org/cs/programs/diversity/aligned/hbcus). Despite this generally accepted wisdom, data from the AAG identify only 5 of 105 HBCUs offer bachelor’s degrees in Geography, GIS, or GeoEd and scholars have noted the broad lack of geographic education and disappearance of geography programs at HBCUs over the past 40 years (Choi, 2018; Malhotra and Vlahovic, 2011; McKee and Wilson, 2004; Roach, 2001; Solis et al, 2014). Considering the historical and ongoing issues of diversity and inclusion (and recognition) for scholars and students of color in the discipline of geography, drawing attention to the lack of geographic education at HBCUs is necessary. These issues are important for continuing to address the lack of diversity and inclusive cultures in our discipline and departments (Joshi, McCutcheon, & Sweet, 2015; Kobayashi, 2006; Mahtani, 2006). HBCUs will be key to changes in the discipline and we can learn a great deal from the educational atmosphere at HBCUs to mentor and teach better at PWIs. We hope this panel will serve as a beginning to this discussion and will encourage all of us in the discipline
This panel gathers scholars teaching geography at HBCUs and alumni of HBCUs in order to discuss the status of geographic education at HBCUs today, what scholars teaching at PWIs (Predominantly White Institutions) can learn from education at HBCUs, and how we might expand geography offerings at HBCUs.

Choi, A. 2018. Geography, Geographers, and the Geographies of Antiracism (Doctoral dissertation). Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.

Joshi, S., McCutcheon, P., & Sweet, E. L. (2015). Visceral geographies of whiteness and invisible microaggressions. Acme, 14(1), 298–323.

Kobayashi, A. (2006). Why Women of Colour in Geography? Gender, Place & Culture, 13(1), 33–38.

Mahtani, M. (2006). Challenging the Ivory Tower: Proposing anti-racist geographies within the academy. Gender, Place & Culture, 13(1), 21–25.

Malhotra, R., and G. Vlahovic. 2011. GIS educational opportunities at Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the United States. Southeastern Geographer 51 (3):443–456.

McKee, J. O., and B. M. Wilson. 2004. Geography in Historically Black Colleges/Universities in the Southeast. In The role of the South in the making of American geography: Centennial of the AAG, eds. J. O. Wheeler and S. Brunn. Columbia, MD: Bellwether Publishing.

Roach, R. 2001. Taking stock of GIS technology at HBCUs. Black Issues in Higher Education, September 13, 2001.


Type Details Minutes
Panelist Joseph Wood University of Baltimore 20
Panelist Jonathan Hall West Virginia University 20
Panelist Priscilla McCutcheon University of Kentucky 20
Discussant David Padgett 20
Panelist Dee Jordan Michigan State University 20

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