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Black Excellence in Birding
Start Date: 5/28/2022Start Time: 5:00 PM
End Date: 5/28/2022End Time: 9:00 PM
Event Description

Join the Academy of Natural Sciences for our first-ever black-tie Black Birders Week event: Black Excellence in Birding.

Don your finest cocktail attire and meet some of Philadelphia’s most well-known Black birders, including Tykee James, Corina Newsome, Jason Hall, and the Academy's own Anwar Abdul-Qawi. Joined by moderator Kiana Habersham of the Academy's Women in Natural Sciences program, they will share their experiences of birding while Black. Tweet an invite to a fellow bird lover, fluff up your plumage for a feathery date night or simply sip cocktails and savor delicious appetizers as you enjoy good conversation with fellow Black birders.

Black Birders Week is a weeklong series of events to highlight Black nature enthusiasts and to increase the visibility of Black birders, who face unique challenges and dangers when engaging in outdoor activities. The event was created as a response to the Central Park birdwatching incident and police brutality against Black Americans. The inaugural event ran from May 31 to June 5, 2020. The week of events was organized by a group of STEM professionals and students known as the BlackAFinSTEM Collective.    

$50 per person; $35 Academy members and African American Museum Members  

Click here to purchase tickets.

Special thanks to the African American Museum for their support of this program. 

Event Schedule: 

Meet, Greet and Learn
5 p.m.

Stroll the red carpet (no binoculars necessary) to Dinosaur Hall, where you’ll find delicious refreshments, cocktails and everything you need to know about which Black birders you should be following on social media. Then journey to North American Hall to observe their work and meet and chat with these well-known nature explorers. Take a look at photos of fellow Black birders doing their awesome work. 

How to get your photo featured at this event 

Submit your own Black birding photo to by May 20, 2022, for a chance to see it featured during the event.  

Bird Walks 
6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Walk length: 30 minutes) 

Indoor bird walks? Tell me more! Talk birds as you take a 30-minute walk through the Academy with Corina Newsome and Tykee James. They will have all the details on the birds you can spot in the Academy’s dioramas.  

Ornithology Collection Tours
6, 6:30 and 7 p.m. (Tour Length: 20 minutes) 

Go behind the scenes for incredible, one-of-a-kind views of the Academy’s world-renowned Ornithology Collection. Meet Academy scientists and learn how the specimens in the Academy’s collection contribute to scientific research and discovery.  

Birding With Women In Natural Sciences
5–8 p.m.

Meet the incredible participants of the Academy’s Women In Natural Sciences (WINS) program. Learn about their experiences birding in the field. Check out and touch awesome specimens from our teaching collection! 

Panel Discussion: Birding While Black in Philly
8 p.m.  

Hear real-life experiences of birding while Black in the Philadelphia region during this important panel discussion. Discover the stories of local Black birders and ask questions. 

Opening Remarks 

  • Maurice Baynard, Vice President, Community Learning and President’s Strategic Initiatives, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University 
  • Nina Ball, Director of Programming and Education African American Museum  


  • Jason Hall, Founder, In Color Birding Club 
  • Corina Newsome, Co-Organizer, Black Birders Week, Associate Conservation Scientist, National Wildlife Federation 
  • Tykee James, Co-Founder, Amplify the Future; Co-Organizer, Black Birders Week; President, D.C. Audubon Society; Trustee, Wyncote Audubon Society, the Birding Co-op and Justice Outside; Elected Councilor, Wilson Ornithological Society
  • Anwar Abdul-Qawi: Lead Keeper, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University 


  • Kiana Habersham: Senior, George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science, Women In Natural Sciences Program, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University;

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

black birders week 2022 black excellence in birding
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103
  • Everyone

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