CDF Newsletter: February 2022

Dear CDF teams,

Happy February! It’s been a while since we last connected via newsletter. This month, we’re highlighting the work from Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina:

“The initial phase of [Spartanburg’s] community-campus partnership involves extensive information-gathering, focused on historic and ongoing harms against descendants of enslaved laborers in Spartanburg, South Carolina. These losses include centuries of enslavement, Reconstruction’s campaigns of displacement, destruction of neighborhoods and historical sites during urban renewal and continuing today, systemic barriers to wealth-building, and systemic and structural racism in Spartanburg citizens’ everyday lived experiences…

Our community partner has been instrumental helping us think through ethical research approaches. So far, we have settled on a twofold approach. First, we are acknowledging the labor of Black knowledge-producers in our community who have already unburied local histories and archived stories from individual community members. We are identifying, citing, and prioritizing research previously conducted by local Black archivists, historians, neighborhoods, and campus documenters.

The second aspect of our research approach prioritizes listening to the experiences of neighborhood groups directly. One neighborhood group working in consultation with our Community Fellow has been particularly inspiring. They developed their own process for creating a restorative vision for their neighborhood, which had been largely demolished during Urban Renewal. In this model, the knowledge-creation toward community rebuilding was entirely community-driven.”

Read more about the Spartanburg team’s work here.

The CDF team