Monica White, a professor of environmental justice at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is among 28 distinguished scholars and writers named 2022 Andrew Carnegie Fellows, an honor that comes with an award of a $200,000 stipend.
“Congratulations to Monica for earning a Carnegie Fellowship,” says UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank in a statement. “Monica’s work is a significant contribution to our understanding of Black history. I’m very pleased that her work is being recognized through this award.”
White, the Distinguished Chair of Integrated Environmental Studies and the founding director of the Office for Environmental Justice in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, will use the $200,000 award to complete the research and writing of her second book, “We Stayed: Agriculture, Activism, and the Southern Black Rural Families Who Fought to Keep the Land.” The book focuses on three generations of an Alabama family who, instead of moving north in the Great Migration, stayed in the South farmed the land, and used their long-standing community connections to help lead the civil rights movement.
“So much of the scholarship around the Great Migration concentrates on families like mine who left the South. I think there’s been insufficient attention on the Black families who stayed and the institutions that they created in order to stay,” White told UW News. “These families offer us an example of how they were able to stay by engaging in agriculture, but also in activism. And they saw the two as wed together and closely connected.”
The Carnegie Corporation, a philanthropic organization, provides each fellow with the funding to produce major works or studies over the next two years that contribute to the social sciences or humanities. White was one of 28 fellows selected in 2022 from nearly 300 nominations.