Everyone’s Earth: Conversations on Race and Environment

The Material Elements of Enslaved People’s Mobility — The Way to Freedom

Presented by Christy Hyman, assistant professor of human geography at Mississippi State University

Everyone's Earth: Conversations on Race and EnvironmentFor enslaved freedom seekers near the Great Dismal Swamp, there were numerous environmental convergences that arose in areas that could have been potential sites of refuge and reconnaissance. The intersections of these paths in terms of social, political, and economic costs of escape into the wilderness is the subject of this talk. Interspecies encounters transformed into interspecies cooperation for those liberation seekers who developed a committed yearning to survive. It was The Way to Freedom.

The Way is a metaphor for the mysteries, possibilities, yearnings, and receiving of surviving turbulent terrain in search of freedom. Attendees of this talk will receive a multilayered discussion of historical Black geographies, the natural world past and present, and contemporary issues of ecological sustainability as it pertains to these elements.

Supporting Partners

University of Wisconsin-Madison logo

Nelson Institute Office of Environmental Justice
Nelson Institute Community Environmental Scholars Program
Nelson Institute Center for Culture, History, and Environment
Department of African American Studies
Department of Geography
Department of Geoscience
Center for Humanities

Support Everyone’s Earth

The Nelson Institute is pleased to offer a wide variety of free public programs, lectures, and events, demonstrating our commitment and dedication to the Wisconsin Idea: the principle that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom.

The Everyone’s Earth: Conversations on Race and Environment lecture series showcases and promotes voices of color, highlighting the issues at the intersection of diversity and environmental justice and is designed to raise public awareness around issues and opportunities related to diversity and inclusion across the environmental spectrum.

If you would like to support the Everyone’s Earth Lecture and the Nelson Institute’s related programming, please make a gift today.

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Photo by Chastity Hyman


Nov 2 2022


5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

More Info



H.F. DeLuca Forum, Discovery Building
330 N. Orchard St., Madison


Alessandra Rella
(608) 265-0521