Black Faculty Speaker Series


4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Sept. 26, 2023

2022-2023 Theme: Afrofuturism

Out of this World: Afrofuturist Expressions across Science, Art, Tech and Design

The Black Faculty Speaker Series will create a campus culture in which Black thought, experience, and creativity are visible and vital. Each visiting speaker provides a unique voice and perspective on Black futurity.

Afrofuturism is this year’s theme for the Black Faculty Speaker Series. It is an orientation or a way of thinking that defies simple classification. It is expansive, interdisciplinary, and revolutionary beyond conventional notions of resistance. Afrofuturism’s practitioners blend imagination, research, experimentation, and Black ancestral knowledge to invent worlds that transcend our present condition and fuel new possibilities for a more just and sustainable planet.

Ibrahim Thiaw | Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Ibrahim Thiaw poster

"Environmental Justice: Seeding the Ground, Planting New Roots"

Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

Ibrahim Thiaw was appointed as Under Secretary General of the United Nations and UNCCD Executive Secretary in 2019. The Mauritanian brings 40 years of experience in sustainable development, environmental governance and natural resource management.

Executive Secretary Thiaw is well-poised to lead the global effort on land restoration, build drought resilience; and improve food security, gender equality and land rights for vulnerable populations. 

Before joining UNCCD, he was Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for the Sahel, where he supported the implementation of the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel (UNISS) and the development of a UN Support Plan for the Sahel.  From 2013 to 2018 he served as Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Before that he was the Director of UNEP’s Division for Environmental Policy Implementation, and he also served as the Regional Director for West Africa, and later Acting Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).   


12 p.m.    Student Lunch and Fireside Chat (Limited to Students Only) 

                     Location: Honors Village Room 1068

4:30 p.m.        Keynote & Reception (Open to all)

                     Location: The Center for Creative Photography


(RSVP is encouraged due to limited seating)