Black History Month 2024
WTS International is proud to celebrate Black History Month 2024. This year's theme: African Americans and the Arts.
This year’s Black History Month theme celebrates the rich history and lives of Black American art and artists. Black writers, performers, architects, and visual artists have historically served as change agents, using their crafts to shape culture, preserve history, and lead cultural movements. Black artists have had an undeniable impact on transportation, from pioneering architecture and technological advances to driving culture and development in communities across the country.
Transportation is a part of our physical world. To celebrate Black History Month this year, we ask WTS Members, Chapters, Staff, and Partners to take time to engage and connect with the work of a Black artist. Participate in the activity of your choice, however, as you celebrate the beauty and history of these works, we encourage you to reflect on the deep impact and influence of Black art and artists on community development and transportation.
Starting Points and Resources:
- Literature – Read a book or piece of literature by a Black author and lead a discussion with your colleagues, friends, family, or WTS Chapter. Check out WTS International’s What We're Reading: Black History Month 2024 (PDF) list for recommendations on key transportation literature from industry leaders.
- Visual Art – Visit a public art exhibition, gallery or museum in your community that spotlights the work of a Black artist(s). Bonus points if it is located near/on transportation or transit! Also consider Placemaking & Architecture – Connect with community culture and design by visiting a local building, public park, or landmark designed by a Black artist or architect. Check out these examples of Black-Created Public Art in Your Community. (PDF)
- Music & Audio – Listen to a podcast or attend a performance by a Black artist or creator.
- WTS Connection: February Feature
- #BHM2024 Social Media Toolkit for WTS Chapters (MyWTS Communities Chapter Resources)
- WTS Chapter Events Calendar
Reflect and Connect:
What is the role of artists, culture and designers in community development and culture building? How does their work impact the transportation industry?
In your work, how have you engaged with Black artists? What are future opportunities for engagement? Consider work specific to your professional role (engineer, planner, practitioner, advocate.)
What feelings were evoked during your activity?
What questions remain from your experience?
Share your Black History activities and reflections on social media and on MyWTS Communities Open Forum. Use hashtags #WTSBHM24, #BHM2024 and #BlackHistoryMonth2024; #CelebrateBlackHistory; and #CelebratingBlackArt.