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watercolor illustration by Jojo Karlin of a leopard holding a Manifold-branded mug, talking to a gopher holding a coffee mug.

Manifold Digital Services Spotlight: Black Women and Religious Cultures

This week we find Manifold Digital Projects Editor Terence in Atlanta meeting with Dr. Rosetta E. Ross. Dr. Ross, along with members of Spelman College's Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and the Daughters of the African Atlantic community, is creating a new journal entitled Black Women and Religious Cultures. The journal seeks to examine the roles of religions, positively and negatively, in the lives of Black women, transnationally. In addition to publishing meeting proceedings from the Consultation of African and African Diasporan Women in Religion and Theology, the journal will include articles from participants in their growing community, facilitating an exchange of knowledge.

Arrived in Atlanta yesterday afternoon and had a lovely dinner with @drreross and her team to talk about @ManifoldScholar and the new journal they are cultivating here. Looking forward to heading over to the @SpelmanCollege campus this morning to start really digging in!

— Terence Smyre (@tremayning) October 21, 2019

In September 2018, the Manifold team received an inquiry from Dr. Ross—thanks to a hot tip from the Ada team—to discover if our platform would serve as a suitable means to facilitate the work she was undertaking, and it immediately struck a chord. What Dr. Ross described was the work of empowerment, decolonization, and knowledge sharing. This was another instance of our hopes for the platform proving out.

During our first day we explored Manifold primarily through the lens of it working in service to the journal. As our conversations developed through the afternoon and into the next day, it was becoming clear that Manifold could not only help Dr. Ross with the journal but also with other publishing initiatives she's been thinking through with her nascent editorial team: Ericka Dunbar and Ebony Johnson. Our earlier demos had shown off the system's primary functionalities, but there's so much lurking under the surface to take advantage that become clear the more you explore. That's when the ideas really start coming out: wait, wait, I can use this for this and this and this too! Manifold not only facilitates a means to enhance materials you're already producing it enables publishing materials in entirely new and meaningful ways.

Great morning with @drreross leading us in creating a prototype of the forthcoming Black Women and Religious Cultures journal on @ManifoldScholar. So exciting to be here at the start!

— Terence Smyre (@tremayning) October 22, 2019

Be sure to check out the Black Women and Religious Cultures website as it starts to come alive, and learn more about the work of the Daughters of the African Atlantic Fund on Twitter, Facebook, or their website. Based on Dr. Ross's energy and enthusiasm we expect to see a lot more, especially around their interview and podcast initiatives.

  • Miles traveled: 1,812
  • Food savored: The halibut at Ray’s in the City on Sunday night was out of this world. Just absolutely exquisite. There’s no better way to kick off two days of meetings than with a nice informal dinner to meet and make company with one another.
  • Sights seen: As in New York, it rained for much of Terence’s visit to Atlanta, so he made use of his time typesetting a Forerunner and finishing off a Clive Barker book he was reading for Halloween.