Posted on March 29, 2023

National Geographic Cancels Popular Geography Bee Because of Equity

Cortney Weil, The Blaze, March 27, 2023

The time-honored geography contest GeoBee is now history. National Geographic, which has sponsored the event for more than three decades, has decided to “permanently discontinue” the bee, citing issues about equitable participation.

According to the outlet’s website, the National Geographic Society decided to cancel the contest after 33 years “to make way for new, transformative, and innovative geography education opportunities in which students around the globe can more equitably participate.” {snip}

The last GeoBee was held in 2019. The GeoBee was suspended in 2020-2021 during the government shutdowns for COVID-19 {snip}

Critics of the bee’s cancellation suggest that the move may have been racially or ethnically motivated, as young males of Asian descent seemed to dominate the competition for more than a decade. {snip}

In addition, National Geographic has also attempted to shift focus away from friendly competition among Americans toward global activism. The outlet claimed it wants to establish a new generation of “solution-seekers” from around the world who can “confront our century’s most pressing challenges,” including COVID-19 and “racial injustice.” {snip}