Call for participation: Black Feminist Health Collaboratory 2023

Call for Participation for the 2023 Black Feminist Health Collaboratory,  Houston May 19-21, 2023. 

Please share amongst your networks. In addition to scholars, we are also hoping to engage activists, artists, organizers, and people who are committed to engaging Black feminist methodologies toward health, healing, and wellness creatively. 

If you would like to learn more about what is next for the 2023 BFHC, please reach out to Adeola Oni-Orisan and Ugo Edu, the Co-Directors for the Collaboratory for Black Feminist Health & Healing, of which the BFHC is a project, at bfhcollaboratory@….


2023 Black Feminist Health Collaboratory: Radical Health Futures

Call for Participation

PDF version

The second Black Feminist Health (BFH) Collaboratory will focus on the theme of Radical Health Futures. Our aim for the collaboratory is to work together to intervene in the present state of Black people’s health by moving away from scarcity and survival toward a holistic, community-built and love-centered definition of health and wellness for people of African descent. This year’s collaboratory asks:

  • How do we redress the systemic health inequalities Black people bear through Black feminist practices, methodologies, and theories and find ways to stop settling for survival?

  • What steps can we take collectively today to bring to fruition a sense of wellbeing for Black people rooted in abundance and pleasure, and inspiring us to thrive as we put an end to the oppressive forces of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and imperialism?

  • How can we use speculation as a critical Black feminist therapeutic methodology to heal the harms created by anti-Blackness in our everyday lives?

  • And how can critical Black feminist methodologies show us the path to reclaiming another trajectory for what Black people’s health can be?

We are holding the in-person, hybrid collaboratory on May 19-21, 2023 in Houston because of how the city and Texas more broadly are pivotal for understanding the nuances of Black people’s health today, including climate change, reproductive rights, protecting transgender people’s right to health care, and immigration. Despite the inequalities that Black people disproportionately bear, we also recognize the regional history of the area as playing an integral role in Black people’s geographies of freedom in the United States, most notably for emancipation, as commemorated by the Juneteenth celebrations that originated in Galveston.

We invite proposals from activists, scholars, artists, community organizers, and public intellectuals engaged in thought, action, and knowledge production that attends to Black Feminist Radical Health Futures around the following themes:

  • Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism, and Africanjujuism; 

  • Black health without borders;

  • Curiosity and speculation as health praxis;

  • Love, Pleasure, Feeling and Intimacy as healing practices;

  • Reproductive justice and birthwork;

  • Abolition as a therapeutic intervention;

  • Self-determination, self-care, and radical communal care praxis

  • Cripping intergenerational care and caregiving;

  • Ancestral food practices as medicinal toolkits;

  • Genetic visions of an anti-racist future;

  • Queering body autonomy;

  • Abundant environmental futures;

  • Mental and psychological wellness and healing

  • Spiritual traditions and healing arts

We will hold multiple session formats as follows: 

  • Talk (15 min): For collaborators looking to present unpublished or published work, performance, or other media form. Participants will be placed on a panel with two other talks that speak to similar themes if accepted. An esteemed discussant will be selected to raise issues for a broader conversation.

  • Conversation (75 min): For collaborators looking to propose a complete panel with two to four participants. Participants can choose to submit a more collaborative or creative session that veers away from the traditional reading of formal papers. Each participant will be allotted 15-30 minutes and is expected to leave time for audience interaction, responses, and questions.

  • Community-In-Action (60 min): For community members, activists, organizers, artists, and publicly-engaged scholars and educators looking to share more about the work they do in their respective communities. This is an opportunity to network, dialogue, and spotlight community-centered work across different venues. If accepted, participants will be placed on a panel with other community-engaged participants to discuss topics relevant to their work.

  • Works-in-Progress (60 min): For collaborators looking to workshop a paper, article, book project, exhibition, grant proposal, recipe, syllabus, etc., in progress on which they would like to receive engaged feedback. By agreeing to participate in the work-in-progress, each participant will be required to submit the complete draft of the work a month before the conference and agree to provide detailed feedback for two other participants.

  • Writing Retreat (2-6 hours): For collaborators looking to spend conference time writing in the community to complete writing goals. We encourage participants to suggest scholars they would like to be in conversation with to create an intentional community around a Black feminist ethic of care through writing.

  • Rest & Restoration: For collaborators looking to engage in restorative practices for collective self care. For example, breathing, movement, techniques for listening to the body,  sound healing, other Black feminist, indigenous, ancestral, and alternative healing practices. 

In the spirit of collectivity, collaboration, and shared liberation, we ask that all collaboratory attendees participate in one or more of the ways listed above. The space will not be open to those wishing to observe only. You may choose to participate in more than one way and we encourage it!

Please submit a 250-word abstract, 100-word bio, and a 250-word statement on how you and your work engages with Black feminist theory or praxis here. The submission deadline for abstracts is January 9, 2023 at 11:59pm PST.

Contact the 2023 BFHC Co-Chairs at bfhcollaboratory@… with questions, support, or collaborative interests. Follow us at @bfhcollab on twitter, @blackfeministcollab on Instagram.