Karla Slocum is a professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where she is also the Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Chair of Public Policy and Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. As a scholar, Slocum specializes in studies of place, race, history and rural Black life. She is the author of Free Trade and Freedom: Neoliberalism, Place and Nation in the Caribbean (University of Michigan Press, 2006) and a book on Oklahoma’s Black towns called Black Towns, Black Futures: The Enduring Allure of a Black Place in the American West (UNC Press, 2019). Her interest in Black towns was sparked by her mother’s stories of her childhood in Langston and her grandfather who lived in Boley and was a sociologist who taught at Langston University. Slocum is co-founder and former co-chair of Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration, a convening that brings together communities and academic researchers for productive dialogue and partnerships to support Black communities’ futures. She is also the co-creator of #TulsaSyllabus, a resource guide of diverse sources on and relevant to the Tulsa race massacre. Currently, Karla Slocum is pursuing a collaborative project, Mapping Black Towns, to digitally tell the diverse stories of U.S. Black settlements.