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Top 10 Under 40
Top 10 Under 40: Imani Black
Fight for representation
November 8, 2023 By Seyitan Moritiwon
As early as seven years old, Imani Black wanted to be in the marine science field. Her fascination with restoration and conservation guided her toward aquaculture in college.
She enjoys being outdoors and working and learning on the boat. And every job she’s had so far has been next to or on the water. “That space energizes me because it pushes me to think quickly on my feet to solve problems and find solutions to move forward.”
In Black’s first six years in the industry, she never worked with another woman of colour in a leadership role. And never knew or saw another Black oyster farm owner until 2020. “While that might not seem like a huge deal to some, that lack of representation impacted my safety and overall well-being on many oyster farms/facilities/operations throughout my career,” the 28-year-old said.
So, in October 2020, she established the non-profit, Minorities In Aquaculture (MIA), in response to her need and passion to create a workforce and community representative of women of colour.
Anoushka Concepcion, Black’s friend said Black currently runs MIA full-time while rounding off her graduate degree. “She ties the cultural and historical significance of seafood production into her work and enjoys teaching others, especially young women of colour, about the role aquaculture plays in sustainable seafood production, with hatchery production being the first step in the development of a viable aquaculture industry,” said Concepcion.
Black said the industry, hasn’t explored its full potential yet and can be more sustainable and impactful, something she thinks any young professional can tap into.
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