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As part of our Black History Month celebration, NorthStar and our partners want to create a shared experience for all of us to immerse ourselves in together. This year, Black History Month’s theme is The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity. So, we’ve curated a shortlist of relevant books and videos that we can all explore together, enabling us to:

  • engage in a shared experience,
  • share our unique perspectives,
  • learn from each other, and
  • ultimately grow together as a community.


Hair Love 

Watch the short film then share your experience using this short survey!

Hair Love, an Oscar®-winning animated short film by Matthew A. Cherry, tells the heartfelt story of an African American father learning to do his daughter’s hair for the first time.



Watch the short film then share your experience using this short survey!

After a heartbreaking loss, a grandfather struggling to reclaim his passion for painting finds the inspiration to create again.



Watch the film then share your experiences using this short survey!

Joe is a middle-school band teacher whose life hasn’t quite gone the way he expected. His true passion is jazz — and he’s good. But when he travels to another realm and helps someone find their passion, he soon discovers what it means to have a soul.


*When purchasing these books, please consider first changing your Amazon Smile charity to the C3 Initiative (this is very simple to do, just follow this link: Donate as you shop at Amazon).

Sharing Our Stories

We know these resources will inspire conversations. Of course, we want to know what impact they have on each of you as individuals and as a community. So, throughout the month, we’ll send out surveys to get a sense of your reactions to this amazing content, including:

  • Emotions evoked
  • Experiences that resonate
  • Growth and learning inspired

We plan to apply a racial equity lens to the data we collect and use GIS to share with everyone how experiences align and vary based on our intersecting identities. We are excited to reveal real human stories using spatial analysis, dashboards, and StoryMaps over the next few months.

So please join us as we celebrate Black History through the shared experience of this beautiful art and literature.

On our support of the C3 Initiative:

Each year, NorthStar will take time to give back by supporting an organization that aligns with our mission to increase representation, inclusion, and belonging for people of the African diaspora in GIS. This year we are excited to spotlight The C3 Initiative, who generously contributed their time to the Education Spotlight at this year’s Homecoming.

To the C3 Initiative, whose founder sees the organization as “a way to get African American young people engaged and excited about technology,” we thank you.

To our sponsors and allies, if you would like to follow us in supporting the C3 Initiative, here are some ways to help:

NorthStar is a community group working to increase representation, belonging, and inclusion of people of African descent in GIS.