The start of February marks the start of Black History Month! There are many events and opportunities happening right now at the University of Michigan to honor Black History Month. You can check out the office of
Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs 2021 Black History Month events page here!

Here at the Weinberg Institute, we wish to engage with Black History Month, both this February and year-round, by acknowledging the many contributions, both historical and ongoing, of Black and African-American Cognitive Scientists, Psychologists, Linguists, Neuroscientists, Philosophers, and Computer Scientists.  In the coming months, we will be highlighting the work of many notable Black and African-American scholars on our website and in our newsletters, so stay tuned!

To kick things off, we wanted to feature some organizations dedicated to uplifting Black scholars and researchers, as well as organizations that promote racial justice in academic settings. Read more about the following organizations below: The Spark SocietySociety for Black Brain and Behavioral Scientists, Black Women in Science and Engineering, National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, The Association of Black Psychologists, National Association for Black Speech-Language and Hearing, and Academics for Black Survival and Wellness.

In the coming weeks and months, we’ll continue to look at both the historical and contemporary contributions of Black and African-American scholars to the field of Cognitive Science on our website. We hope you will continue to engage with and learn about Black history, anti-racism, racial justice, and equity with us!

The Spark Society
From their website: “The SPARK Society was founded by Duane G. Watson (Vanderbilt University), Jean E. Fox Tree (UC Santa Cruz), Alejandro Lleras (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), and Ayanna K. Thomas (Tufts University) in 2017. The mission of SPARK is to increase the numbers of Black/African Americans, Latinx, and Native Americans in cognitive psychology, cognitive science, linguistics, and cognitive neuroscience. Our mission is to create a national network for undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty.”

Society for Black Brain and Behavioral Scientists
From their website: “The overarching goal for the Society for Black Brain and Behavioral Scientists is to become a large member-based organization that provides programming and services to its members as well as the larger community.  We would like to expand to a full fleet of programming and services including an annual academic conference, scholarships and grants, an in-house job portal, academic and wellness support for students, workshops, and networking events.  Other plans for expansion include skills training and local community awareness events.  Increased membership is a continual goal since we want to increase the number of black scientists in the field!”

Black Women in Science and Engineering (BWISE)
From their website: “This is a group to empower and develop Black women who have degrees in the sciences, math and engineering (even if you no longer work in that field) and who would like to connect with others. If you want to share career experiences and be encouraged by your sisters, then this is the group for you. We will focus on moving our careers forward through personal and professional development as well as industry networking and entrepreneurship.”

National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering
From their website: “Our Mission: to enrich society with an American workforce that champions diversity in STEM by increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in engineering and computer science.”

The Association of Black Psychologists
From their website: “The Association of Black Psychologists was founded in San Francisco in 1968 by a number of Black Psychologists from across the country. They united to actively address the serious problems facing Black Psychologists and the larger Black community. Guided by the principle of self-determination, these psychologists and students set about building an institution through which they could address the long-neglected needs of Black professionals. Their goal was to have a positive impact upon the mental health of the national Black community by means of planning, programs, services, training, and advocacy. 

National Association for Black Speech-Language and Hearing
From their website: “The mission of the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing is to maintain a viable mechanism through which the needs of black professionals, students and individuals with communication disorders can be met.”

Academics for Black Survival and Wellness
From their website: “Academics for Black Survival and Wellness (A4BL) is a personal and professional development initiative for Non-Black academics to honor the toll of racial trauma on Black people, resist anti-Blackness and white supremacy, and facilitate accountability and collective action. A4BL also is a space for healing and wellness for Black people.”