The IFI is a project concerned, principally, with the transformative power of the future. From its inception, the Western academy has excluded Black, Indigenous, and other minority communities from research. Relationships that existed, hinge on the violent history of experimentation, exploitation, and extraction within Black and Indigenous communities by scientists, anthropologists, and other researchers; fostering a legacy of harm and distrust.

Unchallenged, such histories catalyze futures that continue to foreclose the possibility of Black and Indigenous knowledge production, innovation, and, ultimately, life. In other words, unless we actively challenge harmful narratives, practices, and theories that haunt the halls of the academy, harm and violence will continue to shape Black and Indigenous futures. A focus on the future is not merely a utopian project; it requires the recognition of past harms and a commitment to addressing them on Black and Indigenous peopleʻs terms. 

Rather than take “futurity” as an abstract concept focused uncritically on potentiality, the IFI takes to task the practice of futurity as an act of relational accountability and transformation. In pursuit of this goal, the IFI aims to put the power of scientific and academic knowledge back into the hands of communities that have been framed by dominant academic and scientific discourse as objects of study rather than producers of knowledge.