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Celebrating Black History and Culture at Georgetown

We celebrate the many contributions of our Black students, alumni, faculty and staff to our community and society, and recognize the broad range of teaching, scholarship and advocacy at Georgetown aimed at advancing Black heritage and history.

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Black History Month

The first organized national celebration of Black history was conceived by historian Carter G. Woodson in 1925. During the month of February, Georgetown joins the nation in commemorating Black History Month.

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African American Studies

The Department of African American Studies delivers scholarship and courses that deeply and substantively examine Black culture, history and experience throughout the Americas; study African culture, history, people and politics as pretext and context to Africans in the Americas experience; and explore the Black Atlantic diaspora.

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‘Students Are My Lighthouse in a Big Ocean’

Donna Brazile, a renowned political strategist and the former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, is celebrating 20+ years of teaching at Georgetown. On the Hill, she is sought after by campaigns for her depth of knowledge and experience. On the Hilltop, she takes time to instruct the next generation of political leaders.

Faculty Research and Expertise

New research reveals that beginning mammograms at age 40 would reduce disparities in breast cancer deaths for Black women.

New research from Georgetown faculty and the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network reveals that beginning screenings at age 40 would decrease disparities in breast cancer deaths for Black women.

A team led by Amani Morrison is beginning a yearlong inquiry into Black ecologies and will explore restorative Black placemaking practices that can be maintained for future generations.

Alumni Impact

“I recognized that the scale required to effectively dismantle systems of gender oppression in African labor markets can only be achieved at the policy level. I also realized that these structural changes must be driven by a change in social norms, which have historically been achieved by social movements. I therefore wanted to contribute to solutions towards increasing financing for gender-based movements.”

“After two years running around the globe helping other communities, I felt a strong calling to come back home and help my own community. I now serve as the CEO of Reconstruction.US, an education technology company that empowers students and their communities through an authentic and unapologetically Black education.”

“Ultimately, my mission was to leave a legacy for the next generation of young artists and to inspire them. But as it turned out, they really inspired me.”

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Documenting the Black Experience at Georgetown

In 2019, the Georgetown University African American Advisory Board launched “We Are Georgetown: Celebrating Our Black History,” an oral history project designed to document and share the rich history and experiences of the Black community at Georgetown. Today, they’ve completed 100 interviews capturing the life and experiences of Black community members.

Black Community and Advocacy

Explore a visual series of responses from Georgetown University graduate students related to themes of legacy and pride, lived experience and allyship, as well as three alumni Q&A reflections.

Katherine Williams oversees design projects in downtown DC and on the Hilltop. In her off-hours, she works to promote equitable housing and increase the number of Black women in architecture.

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The Quest for Racial Justice

Through teaching, research, artistic expression, advocacy and activism, the university calls attention to disparities in health, income, housing and more, while exploring the systematic racism, diasporas, migrations and social structures that continue to impact the lives of people of color.

Witnessing History in the Making

In April 2022, women members of Georgetown Law’s Black Law Students Association attended the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Learn about what the experience was like and what it meant to them as they look toward their own futures.

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Slavery, Memory and Reconciliation

Georgetown is engaged in a long-term and ongoing process to more deeply understand and respond to the university’s role in the injustice of slavery and the legacies of enslavement and segregation in our nation. Through engagement with the members of the Descendant community, collaborative projects and new initiatives and learning and research, the university pursues a path of memorialization and reconciliation in our present day.

Carlos Simon

Honoring the Enslaved

Carlos Simon, a composer, musician and Georgetown professor, composed the work, “Requiem for the Enslaved,” to honor the 272 men, women and children who were sold by the Maryland Province of the Jesuits in 1838 and their more than 8,000 Descendants. In 2022, his work was nominated for a Grammy.

Engaging the DC Community

Headshots of Christopher King wearing a tan blazer and Deliya Wesley wearing a black blazer

Students and faculty in the School of Nursing & Health Studies helped develop a new educational module on implicit bias for the District of Columbia Department of Health.

Gravestones with Georgetown neighborhood buildings in the background

Students in the Black Georgetown Rediscovered course toured the Mount Zion – Female Union Band Society cemeteries and helped document the estimated 9,000 Black residents of Georgetown buried at the site.