Call for Applications: Black Midwest Initiative Summer Institute

Terrion L. Williamson's picture
Summer Program
March 31, 2023
Illinois, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, African American History / Studies, Black History / Studies

BMI Summer Institute | Chicago, IL | July 17-21, 2023

The Black Midwest Initiative (BMI) at the University of Illinois Chicago is pleased to invite applications to its inaugural Summer Institute. This convening, which is organized around the three pillars of BMI’s mission—academics, art, and activism—will bring together 15 Institute participants with 5 Institute facilitators, all accomplished practitioners within their respective fields, for a week-long series of workshops, discussions, and presentations around the scholarship, artistic practice, and organizational work being done within Black midwestern communities. Each person selected to participate in the Summer Institute will also work to develop a project, individually or in collaboration with one or more other Institute participants, that will be shown or exhibited as part of the Third Biennial Black Midwest Symposium, which will be held at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio in October 2024. Ultimately, the intention of the Summer Institute is to cultivate space for early-career scholars, artists, and organizers to develop innovative models of collective knowledge acquisition and creative capacity building that will speak to the varied experiences and needs of Black people and communities across the Midwest.

Application Deadline: March 31, 2023

Access the application HERE or at

Institute Facilitators

  • Krista Franklin 
  • Crystal M. Moten 
  • Jamala Rogers 
  • Jeffrey C. Wray 
  • avery r. young 

Eligibility: Graduate students, junior faculty, adjunct and non-tenure track faculty, independent scholars, emerging artists of all genres (including filmmakers, dancers, and other literary, visual, sound, and performance artists) and community organizers whose work/art deeply engages with Black communities in the Midwest or Rust Belt regions of the United States. We particularly welcome applications from people whose work is concerned with the relay between the creative arts and intellectual inquiry, broadly construed.

Details of Participation: Participants from outside of the Chicago area will be expected to arrive in Chicago on Sunday, July 16 and to leave on Saturday, July 22. Each day of the Institute will feature a morning session that will be run by an Institute facilitator and an afternoon session during which participants will give presentations of their work to the group. There will also be a closing dinner on Friday evening. Participants are expected to attend all sessions, to complete any readings, screenings, or listenings as assigned, and to prepare a presentation of their work to be shared during one of the afternoon sessions. All sessions will be in-person.

Participants will each receive $500 toward their travel expenses to attend the Summer Institute. Lodging will be provided in UIC campus housing for all participants coming from outside of the Chicago area. Breakfast and lunch will be provided each day of the Institute, as well as dinner on Friday. After the conclusion of the Summer Institute, each participant will receive a $1000 stipend to be used toward the costs associated with the project they will develop in conjunction with the 2024 Black Midwest Symposium in Dayton. Participants will also be allotted $500 toward their travel expenses to Dayton and will have up to three nights of their lodging paid during the symposium.