The Black On Black Project

Equity over Equality™

WHY the black on black project?

This work matters because important conversations about equity need to happen so that all community members are valued. A diverse community can be enriching, but engaging in dialogue about identity and difference is a must.

This work makes a difference in the lives of marginalized individuals and communities by allowing space to be seen and heard. It also makes a difference in the lives of the larger community by creating space to engage with others. When this engagement and dialogue happen, everyone's life is enriched.

This is the start of social justice — holding space, honoring intersectional identities and learning to listen.

What we do

The Black On Black Project curates exhibitions, events and programs aimed at encouraging dialogue among all members of the community.

The project documents the creation and execution of exhibitions and events, along with organizing community programming aimed at creating equity within society. 

The Black On Black Project seeks to respect the intersectional identities of citizens by finding and listening to the voices that fall outside of the dominant narrative. This means seeking equity over equality.

The exhibitions are responses to the needs and concerns of the community, like taking on gentrification, education or policy. Our events complement exhibitions and projects.

Within the Black On Black Project is the Jo Ann Williams Artist Fellowship, which provides emerging artists access to studio space and other resources.


While "Black On Black" began as a space for curators of color to showcase artists of color, the project recognizes the diverse and intersectional identities that exist beyond race and ethnicity.

The goal is to honor the central role race and ethnicity have played in American identity while also acknowledging other identities such as gender, sexual orientation, ability status, age, belief system, socioeconomic status, education level and more.

By promoting the principle of equity, the Black On Black Project creates space for the community to try and understand the voices of those who have not been heard. Let's start conversations.


The Black On Black Project consists of creatives who understand the necessity to have challenging and progressive conversations about identity and social justice. Artists possess the societal and cultural empathy needed to transform communities.

Photo by Lindy Schoenborn

Photo by Lindy Schoenborn

Founded by Mike Williams, the Black On Black Project came about after an exhibition partnership with artist Linda Dallas and VAE Raleigh called "Black On Black." That exhibition allowed curators of color to present the artwork of artists of color sharing thoughts on identity and race. VAE Raleigh also produced BOBV2 and BOBV3.

The Black On Black Project is fiscally sponsored by VAE Raleigh, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, creativity incubator. Donations are tax-deductible.