We often hear or read the phrase “Black Girl Magic” not knowing its true meaning. Black Girl Magic is more than a phrase, it is a movement born as a way to “celebrate the beauty, power, and resilience of Black women”, as described by Julee Wilson from HuffPost. The term is used to congratulate Black women on their accomplishments where Black women around the world were persevering, despite adversity. It is a rallying cry to counteract the negativity society places on Black women.
Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant is Black Girl Magic personified as a large carnivore ecologist with an expertise in using statistical modeling to investigate how anthropogenic factors can influence the spatial patterns of carnivore behavior and ecology; working on research with African lions in Kenya and Tanzania, grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and black bears in the Western Great Basin.
Studying the ecological and social drivers of human-carnivore conflict, and the influence of fine-scale human activity on the connectivity of suitable carnivore habitat, she is literally helping to save the world.
The daughter of Toni Wynn, a poet, and consultant for museums with expertise in African-American history and consultant for museums with an expertise in African-American history (with research appears in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History), education and curiosity were encouraged and nurtured at a young age.
Along with this encouragement, Dr. Wynn-Grant also attributes her interest in wildlife and conservation from the television shows she watched as a child.
Premiering October 26, at 10/9c, National Geographic will air a new special, Women of Impact: Changing the World, to showcase Dr. Wynn-Grant along with an incredible group of history-making and boundary-breaking women whose stories create a stunning portrait of the past, present, and future of the distinctly female impact on our world.
National Geographic magazine’s November issue will also celebrate these incredible individuals with a special issue on the rising power of women’s voices, which will be produced exclusively by female writers and photographers for the first time in history.
The Koalition spoke to Dr. Wynn-Grant about her illustrious career that will sure to inspire the current and next generation of future leaders, educators and more.
Check out our interview below.