Association of American Geographers
About AAG Membership Annual Meeting Projects & Programs Education Publications Calendar Of Events Jobs & Careers

 

2021 Redistricting: What Can Geographers Do? 

After 10 years with our country’s current congressional and state district maps, the time has come to redraw the lines through the process of redistricting. States alone have the power to redraw legislative districts using decennial census data. This undertaking is inherently geographic, and yet geographers are sorely lacking from the process at every level. Because each state has a different process for redrawing their maps, identifying a chance to get involved can be tough for anyone to navigate, let alone professional and academic geographers pressed for time. 

That’s why the AAG is launching our virtual Redistricting Panel Series this September, to equip geographers with the tools and knowledge to take action in their states as the maps are drawn. By activating our collective power as a community and pressing to have a geographer in the room in every state, we can set new expectations this year and show why geospatial thinkers are indispensable. 

When it comes to the fight for fair redistricting, there is no one better equipped than a geographer. Understanding the composition of communities based on shared geographic factors is a deeply powerful perspective to offer. When deployed for the good of equity and access, that perspective is essential to drawing an honest map. You do not have to be a GIS expert to contribute that powerful perspective. These are your districts, they will be your representatives, and you deserve to be at the table.

September 2021 - AAG Redistricting Panel Series

The AAG’s virtual Redistricting Panel Series is centered around one key word — “action.” Geographers will walk away from these session panels with the state specific background, process knowledge, and the grassroots organization connections needed to step up and get involved. These panels will include geographers, redistricting experts, community organizers, and more.The project’s Organizing Committee is currently building out the “panel in a box” template for our in-state hosts to deploy, creating a simple and streamlined way to replicate strong panels all over the country. 
 


Confirmed States

(Dates and registration links coming soon)

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Michigan
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

For more information, contact:

Michelle Kinzer, Government Relations Manager
Sydney Rice, Program Assistant 


 

Frequently Asked Questions

I want to attend a panel in September:

When and where will the panels take place? (Are they virtual or in-person?)
All panels will take place this September 2021 following the release of the state-level 2020 Census data in August. Exact dates will be posted as they become known this summer. Each panel will be hosted on the AAG’s virtual platform. You do not need to be affiliated with the panel host’s university to participate. We encourage anyone in the state to tune in.

Who can attend these panels?
The events are free and open to anyone who registers.

Will panels include resources for teachers and students?
The AAG is working with each panel host to ensure that a portion of our follow-up materials are geared towards teachers and students.

Are these panels against or in favor of a specific political party?
This is a completely non-partisan panel series. The AAG will work with panel hosts to ensure invited speakers provide relevant information for anyone to get involved and hold leadership accountable, regardless of party affiliation.

What will I gain from attending?

Not only will the panel in your state provide understanding on who draws the maps and how the average geographer can get involved, it will convince you of a geographer’s rightful place in the redistricting process. You will walk away with a package of tailored resources that will connect you to grassroots organizations in your state and open up opportunities for you to make a difference at the local level. The efficacy of nearly every public policy initiative can be traced to how our resources are allocated, how our communities are grouped and who represents us. Redistricting is the backbone of our representative democracy and geographers deserve a seat at the table.  

Our Redistricting Panel Series Organizing Committee Members:

  • Song Gao, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Ken Martis, West Virginia University
  • Nick Quinton, Florida State University
  • Rick Sadler, Michigan State University
  • Jim Thatcher, University of Washington, Tacoma
  • Rebecca Theobald, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Download the PDF to Share

PDF flier: 4 ways a geographer can make an impact on gerrymandering and redistricting