The MSU Womxn of Color Initiatives (WOCI) is bringing Colah B. Tawkin to Michigan State University’s campus March 27-31 as its 2023 Artist-in-Residence. Tawkin is the creator, producer, and voice behind the renowned Black in the Garden podcast.
Using her extensive horticultural knowledge, endless love for Black people, and keen ability to teach in a spirit of joy and kinship, Tawkin has built a village of “Soil Cousins” who have come to not only love but trust her voice. By amplifying Black voices and bringing the marginalized into the center, her aim is to grow and foster village-building, education, and healing through gardening.
She has been written about in several publications including The Guardian, Essence, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and more.
Tawkin also is the creator of the first coloring book for the Black experience in the garden, titled Black in the Garden: A Coloring Experience by Colah B. Tawkin. This 20-page coloring book embodies Black experience with plants and celebrates botanical wisdom.
Several events are planned for the week of March 27-31 to allow womxn of color, MSU community members, and the greater Lansing area to engage with Tawkin in a variety of settings. These events are free and open to the public. Tawkin also will engage in mentoring and conversations with undergraduate, graduate, and faculty womxn of color.
Tawkin’s visit is supported by the College of Arts & Letters, College of Social Science, WKAR, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate School.
The MSU Womxn of Color Initiatives is an effort to organize events for womxn of color and their allies on MSU’s campus and in the greater Lansing community. In doing so, WOCI aims to create spaces for students to be in conversation with each other and engage with women of color faculty, guest speakers, staff, and community members.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
March 27, 2023
Plantrepreneurship: A Journey to Peace
Join two Black women plantrepreneurs, Colah B. Tawkin (Black in the Garden Podcast) and Hillary Coleman (1991 Greenery), for a community conversation on how starting their own plant and horticulture businesses brings them peace and joy. The first 25 people to register will receive a plant from 1991 Greenery.
Time and Location: 7 p.m., Oracle’s Apothecary, 519 E César E. Chávez Ave, Lansing, MI 48906
March 28, 2023
Plants and Placemaking: Faculty Mentoring Session & Lunch
WOCI invites all WOC-identified faculty and allies to join Colah B. Tawkin for lunch. This informal conversation will draw parallels between the world of horticulture and academia and will engage how WOC make space for themselves in their fields.
Time and Location: 10 a.m., Room 2110, STEM Building
March 29, 2023
Speaking UP and OUT via Podcasting: A Podcast Workshop for Beginners
In collaboration with MSU’s Department of African American and African Studies, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Colah B. Tawkin will host a podcasting workshop for those who are interested in starting their own podcast. Participants also will receive instructions on technical skills needed for podcasting success and hear about resources available via MSU and the local community. The first 25 people to register will receive a copy of the Black in the Garden coloring book.
Time and Location: 7 p.m., Room 148, College of Arts and Sciences Building (the Newsroom)
March 30, 2023
WOC Graduate Student Lunch
WOCI invites all womxn of color-identified graduate students and allies to meet with Colah B. Tawkin over lunch. This informal conversation will provide graduate students with an intimate setting to engage the artist-in-residence.
Time and Location: 1 p.m., Room 182, College of Communication Arts and Sciences Building
March 30, 2023
Plants, Race, and Class: A Conversation with Colah B. Tawkin
The community is invited to attend a keynote conversation between Dr. Tamara Butler, Director of the Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston and expert in Black girlhood and land, and Colah B. Tawkin. Attendees have an option of joining in-person or watching remotely via live stream. The first 25 people to register will receive a copy of the Black in the Garden coloring book.
Time and Location: 7 p.m., WKAR Studio A, College of Communication Arts and Sciences Building
March 31, 2023
WOC Undergraduate Student Breakfast
WOCI invites all womxn of color-identified undergraduate students and allies to meet with Colah B. Tawkin over breakfast. This informal conversation will provide students with an intimate setting to engage the artist-in-residence.
Time and Location: 10 a.m., Room 95, Justin S. Morrill Hall, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources