The concept began with eight mayors from historically black towns who joined academics to preserve history, problem solve and build for the future. The 2015 project was so successful, it has expanded into the multidisciplinary Black Communities conference. Hosted by the Institute for African American Research and NCGrowth, organizer Karla Slocum is professor of Anthropology and the Director of the Institute of African American Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and organizer Mark Little is Director of NCGrowth and Executive Director at UNC Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise.
They join Frank Stasio to talk about black communities from around the country collaborating to both grow and preserve their towns. In a partnership that evolved from this concept, the project development company Skanska and the leaders of Princeville, North Carolina will attend the conference to discuss how the construction giant is helping a small black town rebuild after flooding. Featured speaker Patrice Collins is a fellow of the Urban Ethnography Project at Yale University. She joins to talk about one of the plights in the communities, the impact of incarceration on families. The Black Communities conference takes place at the Carolina Theatre April 23 to 25.