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Want to change the world? Action needs ideas. Action needs excitement, hope, and debate. We at the School for Cultural and Social Transformation are ready to think with you. Ready to shape the leaders—you—who will put ideas into forceful motion. To act, we must think. We want to think with you.

Vision


The Black Feminist Eco Lab (BFEL) hopes to bring together a community of broadly defined intellectuals, advocates, artists, activists, learners, and practitioners. We hope to create a new paradigm of what a thriving, inclusive ecosystem operating on former and ever-changing theoretical frameworks for Black feminism can embody. Our aliveness model, involving biotics and abiotics within the ecosystem, centers ethics in an unethically-oriented world. The BFEL rejects the world’s determinism to shape the many permutations of being alive and untethered. Within this environment, we will generate scholarship, best practices, ideas, and community-building strategies that emerge from a spectrum of phenomenal circumstances to ordinary and unexceptional narratives.

Standpoints


Standpoints is a podcast for living and loving blackness. Hosts Andrea N. Baldwin, Jenaya Amore, and former co-host Trichia Cadette welcome guests who explore Black feminist experiences within a scholarly, pedagogical, and community-based praxis of care. The Standpoints Podcast is a partnership with the Black Feminist Eco Lab and Virginia Tech Publishing.

Listen To Standpoints Podcast

Workshop


In the Summer of 2024, the BFEL is hosting a workshop called: "Working at Aliveness" at the University of Utah.

Dr. Andrea N. Baldwin

Founder

Andrea N. Baldwin is an associate professor in the divisions of Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies in the School for Cultural and Social Transformation at the University of Utah.

She is an attorney-at-law who holds a master’s degree in international trade policy and a Ph.D. in gender and development studies from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus in Barbados.

Dr. Baldwin has several publications, including her 2021 book monograph, "A Decolonial Black Feminist Theory of Reading and Shade: Feeling the University;" 2019 and 2023 co-edited texts in the Standpoints Black feminisms book series with Virginia Tech Publishing, and a 2023 co-edited Global Black feminisms volume.

She is the creator and co-host of Standpoints, a Black feminist podcast produced by Virginia Tech Publishing, and the co-curator of the Caribbean feminist series for Black Women Radicals.

Dr. Baldwin was born and raised on the small Caribbean Island state of Barbados. She considers herself an all-around Caribbean woman and loves everything coconut and soca.

Cydney Caradonna

Graduate Fellow

Cydney Y. Caradonna is a queer Latinx scholar, activist, and poet originally from the California Bay Area.

She currently lives in the Salt Lake Valley and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership in Policy at the University of Utah. She has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and master’s degree in higher education administration and leadership.

Her scholarly praxis explores the systems and potential ruptures that inform a de/carceral ethos for higher education. Caradonna’s poetry centers the similar tensions to her academic work and research and experiences along multiple systems of marginalization and how we unsettle those systems by speaking back to them.

Caradonna’s interdisciplinary approach to inquiry and praxis in higher education has included grant supported research in intersectional studies, policy discourse analysis, and Feminist methodological theory.

Caradonna currently works for the Utah Prison Education Project supporting higher education in prison programming, research and publishing while working to create a Black Feminist Eco Lab in the School of Cultural and Social Transformation.

Chelsea N. Bouldin

Ph.D. Candidate & University Fellow

Chelsea N. Bouldin is an Octavia E. Butler scholar, Ph.D. candidate, and university fellow at Syracuse University in the Cultural Foundations of Education department. She is also pursuing a Certificate of Advanced Study in women’s and gender studies. Her dissertation research considers how Afrofuturist literature/Afrofuturist ideologies serve as both tools for, and expressions of, Black women’s autonomous understandings and creations of self. Her work also explores archives as sites of epistemic repossession. As a practice of democratizing archival knowledge, she developed the So be it; See to it: Archiving Project–a community engaged interactive reading collective for Black women in Syracuse, N.Y. to converge her academic research with the Butler archives, parts of Butler’s literary canon, and collective histories beyond the academy. Most recently, Chelsea’s work has been generously supported by Imagining America (IA), Humanities New York (HNY) the Huntington Library, and Syracuse University’s Humanities Center.

Flavorful food, Black sci-fi, boundless writing, impromptu exploration, and laughing endlessly fill her dreamiest days.

 

Dr. Crystal S. Rudds

Assistant Professor & Fellow

Crystal S. Rudds received her PhD from the University of Illinois and is assistant professor of African American literature and culture in the Department of English at the University of Utah. She served as the assistant editor to Audrey Petty for the oral history High Rise Stories: Voices from Chicago Public Housing and is currently working on a book project that explores representations of public housing in film, African American literature, photography, and Black men’s qualitative narratives. Dr. Rudds’ other research/teaching interests include Black feminist theories and ecological praxis, Afrofuturism, literary ethnography, and digital expressions of Black Spatial Humanities.

With an MFA from Indiana University, she also publishes creative work that has appeared in Obsidian, NightBallet Press, After Hours Press, Midnight & Indigo and, as part of the collective poem, American Gun, published by Big Shoulders Books.

Nana Brantuo

Advisor

Dr. Nana Brantuo is a highly skilled researcher, educator, and advocate dedicated to addressing systemic inequalities and centering marginalized populations. With a background in education policy and leadership, curriculum and instruction, and African studies, she specializes in interdisciplinary research, policy analysis, and advocacy. As a non-residential fellow at the University of San Diego Kroc School VIP Lab, Dr. Brantuo focuses on researching transnational systemic violence against Black migrants seeking refuge. As the founder and principal of Diaspora Praxis, LLC, she provides clients with comprehensive research, policy, and technical products, emphasizing data-driven insights and strategic recommendations. Dr. Brantuo is deeply engaged in service work, holding roles on the board of directors at The Person Center, contributing to FAIR SHARE's Data Advisory Committee, and providing thought leadership at the Africa Data Governance Hub Advisory Council. She is also enrolled in the Center for AI and Digital Policy's AI Policy Certificate program, furthering her expertise in ethical AI governance

Jocelyn Navarro

Visiting Scholar

Jocelyn Navarro is a Mexican-American scholar from Southern California. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona, while holding a bachelor’s degree in botany with minors in environmental studies and gender & women studies. Navarro studies the effects of anthropogenic climate change on plant communities in water-limited environments, and how these changes alter ecosystem functioning. Her research has taken her to several beautiful places all over the world such as Colorado, Arizona, Peru, Norway and South Africa to collect data. Navarro recognizes humans are not always included in scientific discussions about the environment, and would like to make her work more interdisciplinary to include the effects of anthropogenic climate change on humans. She enjoys spending time outdoors and wants to make these spaces more safe and accessible to people who have been historically excluded from these spaces, such as people of color and people with disabilities. Navarro is honored to be a part of the Black Feminist Eco Lab in the School for Cultural & Social Transformation.