For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Celebrate Black Birders Week: Black Excellence in Birding

Saturday, May 28  

Philadelphia, May 4, 2022

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is holding a black-tie Black Birders Week event: Black Excellence in Birding from 59 p.m. Saturday, May 28.


Meet some of Philadelphia’s most well-known Black birders, including Tykee James, Corina Newsome and Jason Hall. Joined by moderator and fellow Black birder Anwar Abdul-Qawi, 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.


Tickets are $50 per person; $40 Academy members and African American Museum Members. To register, visit Guests must be 21+ to drink and will receive wristbands. Special thanks to the African American Museum for their support of this program.

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.

Here is the schedule for the evening. For more details on the event and the special guests, visit the Academy’s website.

5 p.m. Meet, Greet and Learn  

Stroll the red carpet, enjoy refreshments and cocktails in Dinosaur Hall, and meet fellow birders and the four special guests. 

6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Bird Walks  

Stroll the Academy’s dioramas with Corina Newsome and Tykee James as they relate all the details about the birds inside.   

6, 6:30 and 7 p.m. Ornithology Collection Tours 

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

5–8 p.m. Birding With Women In Natural Sciences 
Meet the participants of the Academy’s Women In Natural Sciences program and learn about their experiences birding in the field. Touch bird specimens from our teaching collection. 


8 p.m. Panel Discussion: Birding While Black in Philly 
Hear real-life experiences of birding while Black in the Philadelphia region. Discover the stories of local Black birders and ask questions. Opening remarks by Maurice Baynard, the Academy’s Vice President, Community Learning and President’s Strategic Initiatives, and Nina Ball, Director of Programming and Education at the African American Museum. Panelists are: 

  • 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  

  • Moderator: Anwar Abdul-Qawi: Lead Keeper at the Academy of Natural Sciences   


To download images, visit the Press Room