The BMRC 2024 Fellowship Program Application Period has CLOSED

Please read the "Overview, Eligibility, and How to Apply page and consider applying for the 2025 cohort.


A one-month residential fellowship in the City of Chicago, the Summer Short-term Fellowship Program has engaged scholars, artists, writers, and public historians to formulate new historical narratives of Chicago’s past. The new, original research and art developed through this program illuminate the national and international importance of Chicago’s African-American community. Each Fellowship consists of one month of support for intensive research using BMRC collections for the proposed project. Dates will fall between June and August.

OVERVIEW, ELIGIBILITY and HOW to APPLY

BMRC COLLECTIONS HIGHLIGHT: National Alliance of Black Feminists

Founded in 1976, the National Alliance of Black Feminists (NABF) sought full equality for African-American women in the United States. Open to “any black woman interested in advancing the cause of Black feminism”, the National Alliance of Black Feminists (NABF) was a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to achieving full equality for Black women in America. Formed in the summer of 1975, the NABF organization originally started in 1974 as the Chicago Chapter of the New York based National Black Feminists Organization (NBFO).

When NBFO dissolved in 1975, Brenda Eichelberger, then president of the Chicago chapter, decided to respond to an increase in local, national and international Black feminist struggle by organizing the National Alliance of Black Feminists, serving as its first executive director. The organization opened its national offices at 202 South State Street, Chicago, Illinois in May, 1976. The group held a three day conference, "A Meeting of the Minds: A National Conference for, by and about Black Women" in Chicago in 1977. The NABF put forth a Black Women's Bill of Rights that included the non-racist and non-sexist portrayal of African-American women in advertising, television, film, radio, newspapers, magazines, books, and all other mass media as a fundamental right. The NABF also sought to improve African-American women's education, social status, economic circumstances, and professional prospects.

NABF collections are held at two BMRC member institutions.
* University of Illinois at Chicago, Special Collections (Richard J. Daley Library)
*The Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection, Woodson Regional Library, Chicago
Public Library System

Use the BMRC Archive Portal to learn more!

Sumayya Ahmed, Ph.D., appointed Executive Director of Black Metropolis Research Consortium

UChicago Library News Site Post:
Sumayya Ahmed will be joining the Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) and the University of Chicago Library as Executive Director of the BMRC on January 16. In this role, Ahmed will provide strategic leadership and operational management for the BMRC’s activities.

Ahmed comes to the BMRC from Simmons University in Boston, where she worked as an Assistant Professor in the School of Library and Information Science. As an archives educator and scholar, she taught graduate courses in Archival Studies for students pursuing the MLIS degree at Simmons and, prior to that, at University College London’s global campus in Doha, Qatar. Originally from Chicago, Ahmed earned her PhD in Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, and a BA in African American Studies and Sociology from Wesleyan University.

A member of the Society of American Archivists, Ahmed serves on the board of the Archival Education and Research Initiative and the Center for Maghrib Studies at Arizona State University. She is the co-editor of the Routledge Studies in Archives Series and has published on archives in North Africa as well as race and equity within the library, archives, and museum sector.

See UChicago Library's Announcement