The Black History of Chesapeake Bay Aquaculture
Learn from a local expert about the history of Chesapeake Bay oyster fishermen and the future of American aquaculture
Join Imani Black, founder of Minorities in Aquaculture, to learn about the rich history of Chesapeake Bay aquaculture, what it looks like today and could look like in the future. The presenter will also cover sustainability and aquaculture as a career path for minority students.
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For more information, contact 703-228-5715.
This event supports the Library's recognition of Black History Month.
About the Presenter:
Imani Black is an African American oyster farmer building a career in the rapidly growing aquaculture industry. She was born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and her love for conservation and restoration on the Chesapeake Bay started at a young age. Imani comes from a long family history of watermen from Rock Hall, Crisfield and Cambridge, MD that dates back over 200 years.
Imani attended Old Dominion University and graduated with a Marine Biology degree and was a Division 1 student athlete in lacrosse.
During college, Imani interned for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s VA Oyster Restoration Team which started her journey into oyster restoration and shellfish aquaculture. Following graduation, Imani was selected to participate in the VIMS’ Aquaculture Genetics & Breeding Technology Center’s (ABC), Oyster Aquaculture Training (OAT) program which targets those pursuing careers in all aspects of oyster aquaculture, from hatchery operations to grow-out and processing.
Through her love for her career, Imani founded Minorities In Aquaculture, a nonprofit organization that strives to empower and support the underrepresented demographics (i.e women of color, women in general, men of color, etc) in the aquaculture industry by providing opportunities such as paid internship, technical skills training and career development resources. Over the last 2 years, MIA has focused its efforts and resources toward supporting women of color in their aquaculture careers, starting with Imani’s demographic which is also least engaged in this space. Overall, Minorities In Aquaculture is recognized as an impactful network focused on sustainable seafood education, aquaculture workforce development, and active engagement approaches not only for the minorities in aquaculture, but the industry as a whole in its effort towards a more diverse aquaculture field.
In addition to developing the nonprofit, Imani is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science researching the historical coastal communities of color in commercial fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay, while highlighting the approaches and methods toward active minority engagement and participation in coastal regions.