Reorienting Geography as an Anti-racist Discipline

In this working group, we seek to develop tools and strategies to redefine what geography as a discipline can be for black, brown, and indigenous graduate students. We aim to develop collective peer support systems that inform new social connections and challenge the racial capitalist structures of the academy.

May 31, 2022, 6:00pm Eastern Time – August 16, 2022, 8:00pm Eastern Time

Webinar Ended

Graduate leaders

Kela CaldwellKela Caldwell, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Kela Caldwell is a PhD student in the department of Geography at UW-Madison. Her commitment to research, community, and students emerge from the connections she makes from her own lived experiences and her ability to identify the similarly limiting and exclusionary structures around her. This drives her to work to promote and build equity and anti-racist practices within the academy and beyond.

Vignesh RamachandranVignesh Ramachandran, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Vignesh Ramachandran is a M.S. student in the department of Geography at UW-Madison. His commitment to community-engaged research and anti-racist organizing emerge from experience in the climate justice movement, where he developed skills in popular education and campaign strategy. He looks to bring these experiences in conversation with critical university studies and abolitionist struggles at the university to support anti-racist efforts in the academy.

Eligibility and capacity

We will select up to 20 graduate students to participate in this working group. Selection will be based on your AAG membership status, your research needs, and time of registration. If you are selected, we will notify you ahead of the working group and provide you all the working group details and session links. If you are selected, the expectation is that you will participate in all sessions of the working group.


This working group is intended to serve and support students of color interested in reimagining and creating anti-racist departments, disciplines, and academies. We also envision the space as one for coalition building and therefore also invite students who do not identify as of color (still prioritizing BIPOC participants) but are interested in critical university studies and anti-racist/abolitionist struggle at the university and in the discipline.

Detailed schedule

This working group will meet at the following times (Eastern Time):

  • Session 1: Sharing our Experiences in Geography and the Academy, 6:00 – 8:00pm, Tuesday, May 31
  • Session 2: Study & Struggle vs Discipline, 6:00 – 8:00pm, Tuesday, June 14
  • Session 3: Enacting Change, 6:00 – 8:00pm, Monday, July 11
  • Session 4: Constructing Anti-racist Futures, 6:00 – 8:00pm, Tuesday, July 19
  • Session 5: Workshop Day 1, 6:00 – 8:00pm, Tuesday, July 26
  • Session 6: Workshop Day 2, 6:00 – 8:00pm, Tuesday, August 9
  • Session 7: What Next?, 6:00 – 8:00pm, Tuesday, August 16

Throughout the summer, expect to also spend a few hours working independently on readings or short assignments for the working group.