Back to top

NorthStar of GIS

NorthStar of GIS Black@GeoEvents Black representation and belonging at geo conferences and meetups

Celebrating Black Perspectives and Voices in GIS


We’re thrilled to announce the upcoming Black@EsriUC Experience, a part of our ongoing Black@GeoEvents series. This event aims to center Black perspectives and attendees in geography and GIS conferences, creating a space for community, connection, and empowerment.

About the Black@EsriUC Experience

We’ve planned an engaging and enriching series of events for attendees:

  • Sunday Brunch: Kick off the conference week with a community brunch at Chefs SD, located at 531 F Street in San Diego’s historic Gas Lamp District. Join us on Sunday, July 9th, 2023, from 11 AM to 2 PM to meet fellow attendees, network, and build connections.
  • NorthStar Special Interest Group (SIG) Meeting: A significant aspect of the Black@EsriUC Experience is the SIG Meeting, scheduled for July 11th, 2023, from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM at the San Diego Convention Center. Join us as we delve into discussions that center Black perspectives in the GIS industry.
  • NorthStar Black@EsriUC Social: Wrap up an inspiring day with the Black@EsriUC Social at Chefs SD on Tuesday, July 11th, 2023, from 5 PM to 8 PM. Connect, unwind, and celebrate with peers, friends, and allies in a relaxing environment.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Chefs SD (@chefssd)

About Our Partners

The Black@EsriUC Experience is a part of NorthStar’s Horizon Program, a dedicated initiative highlighting Black geography and GIS students, educators, entrepreneurs, and professionals.

We are proud to partner with BlackTechLink, URISA’s Pro-Equity Anti-Racism (PEAR) Committee, Mapping Black California, and the AfriTech Fellowship. Each organization brings unique strengths and perspectives, contributing significantly to the enriching experience of Black@EsriUC.


Celebrating Our Legacy: The Harlem of the West

San Diego’s Gaslamp District, known for its vibrant nightlife and historic Victorian-era buildings, has a rich yet often overlooked African American history. A prominent example is the Douglas Hotel, a significant cultural hub for the African American community during the mid-20th century. While seeking to modernize the city, urban renewal programs displaced many communities of color and destroyed historically significant buildings, including the Douglas Hotel, in 1985. Despite the loss, the spirit of the community lives on, and the complex history contributes to the unique character of the Gaslamp District today1.

Douglas Hotel-Creole Palace, the stop for Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, the Mills Brothers, Duke Ellington. - [Photo Credit] San Diego Historical Society

Douglas Hotel-Creole Palace, the stop for Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, the Mills Brothers, and Duke Ellington. – [Photo Credit] San Diego Historical Society

Black@EsriUC 2022

Join Us in San Diego

Black@EsriUC is an event series dedicated to fostering connection, enriching professional development, and amplifying Black voices in the GIS community. We look forward to seeing you at the upcoming events in San Diego this July. Let’s celebrate our community, embrace our collective strength, and inspire future generations of Black GIS professionals.

Together, we are creating a brighter, more inclusive future.


  1. African Americans and Historic Preservation in San Diego: The Douglas and the Clermont/Coast Hotels, Leland T. Saito, Associate Professor in the departments of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.

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