Earth Day Festivities kick off with Keynote Speaker Imani Black, founder of Minorities in Aquaculture


Imani Black, founder of Minorities in Aquaculture

Gunston will celebrate Earth Day on Wednesday, April 21, kicking off the day’s events with keynote speaker Imani Black, co-sponsored by Gunston’s Diversity Leaders and Environmental and Outing clubs. 

Imani Black is the founder of Minorities in Aquaculture (MIA), an organization that promotes the benefits and sustainability of aquaculture, both in the Chesapeake Bay and worldwide, and works to educate and encourage minorities to pursue careers in all aspects of aquaculture. Additionally, Imani is Gunston’s assistant girls’ lacrosse coach and a faculty research assistant for the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) at Horn Point Laboratory. This fall, Imani will continue at Horn Point and begin her first year as a master’s student.

Born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, she hails from a long family history of watermen from Rock Hall, Crisfield, and Cambridge dating back more than 200 years. After earning a B.S. in Marine Biology from Old Dominion University where she also was a Division 1 student athlete in lacrosse, Imani was selected for VIMS’ Aquaculture Genetics & Breeding Technology Center’s (ABC), Oyster Aquaculture Training (OAT) Program which offers training in oyster aquaculture during the hatchery and nursery seasons that covers everything from hatchery operations to grow-out and processing. Her passion for aquaculture inspired her to create the non-profit Minorities in Aquaculture. 

Following the keynote address, students will join one of several workshops offered on Gunston’s campus. Opportunities to give back to campus and the natural environment include joining trail crews, garden projects, and trash clean-ups. Other activities include workshops in art and music, and opportunities to relax at the waterfront while canoeing, sailing, and fly fishing. 

The day will end with a “Photo Safari” campus-wide scavenger hunt with prizes for the top two teams.