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Georgetown, History Professor Honored for Campus, Civic Engagement

November 21, 2014 – Georgetown and a prominent university history professor recently received awards from a network of colleges and universities committed to advancing communities through civic engagement in Washington, D.C. and Maryland.

The Maryland-DC Campus Compact awarded Georgetown its Engaged Campus Award and Maurice Jackson, a professor of history in Georgetown College, received the nonprofit’s Civic Engagement Award during a Nov. 10 ceremony at Morgan State University in Baltimore.

“We are pleased to have the university’s work in our community recognized in this way,” says Lauralyn Lee, associate vice president for community engagement and strategic initiatives. “The Engaged Campus Award reflects the university’s commitment to meaningful and sustained civic engagement, a very important part of our Catholic and Jesuit tradition, our commitment to the common good and the educational experience we provide our students.”

Reaching Out

The university’s community outreach efforts include courses with community-based learning, the Ward 7 initiative, the eight-week Summer Institute on Teaching and Learning (SITL) for Georgetown students working in D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) classrooms and the Homelessness Outreach program, to name a few.

Georgetown also invests in college access and success programs and school partnerships that include the Cristo Rey Network, the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) charter school network, Upward Bound and Catholic Charities.

The McDonough School of Business partnered with DCPS to create an Executive Master’s in Leadership program for principals. The university also provides free courses to faculty members at the Duke Ellington High School for the Performing Arts. During the federal government shutdown last year, Georgetown also offered free courses to more than 400 furloughed federal employees through the School of Continuing Studies.

“Being recognized for these awards really reinforces the work that the university has been deliberately and conscientiously engaged in – to try to make sure that our this work is as impactful for the community as well as our students, faculty and staff,” says Lee.

Faculty Engagement

Maurice Brown, in a suit and tie, smiles in a headshot.   Maurice Jackson

Jackson, who teaches courses on the history of the District and of D.C. jazz, says he tries to help Georgetown students gain a deeper understanding of their adopted city.

“I live in the D.C. community, I’ve raised my kids here, and my wife and I have lived here for a long time,” says Jackson, who moved to the District in the mid-1970s.  “It’s a city that I’ve grown to love, but there are also some lamentable aspects of here. There are class barriers and racial lines that still have not been broken down. I’d like to see that Washington, D.C., is a good city for everyone, and not just a few.”

Last year, Jackson became the inaugural chair of the Mayor’s Commission on African American Affairs, advising the mayor, city council and the public about the economic, educational and health needs of African-American communities in the District.

Community Leadership

Jackson helps commission members understand the root of the city’s decreasing African-American population and provide advice for addressing educational inequality, affordable housing and health disparities issues members of that population face.

“Professor Jackson is emblematic of the meaningful and deep community leadership the university strives to offer the broader D.C. community,” Lee says. “We have a very valuable resource in our faculty, who are experts on a wide range of issues of shared concern for our city, and we are very grateful for those like professor Jackson who are willing to share their time and talents through community engagement.”

Jackson has served on and moderated D.C. panels on jazz and desegregation, the mayoral race and its implications for education, and he recently edited a special jazz issue of the Journal of the Historical Society of Washington. He’s currently working on a book about the black population in D.C.

Life Pieces to Masterpieces

Mary Brown smiles in a closeup.    Mary Brown

The Maryland-DC Campus Compact also awarded the Civic Leadership Award to a Georgetown partner – Mary Brown.

Brown received the 2012 John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award from Georgetown for her work with youth in the District’s underserved Wards 7 and 8 as co-founder and executive director of Life Pieces to Masterpieces.

She is currently executive director of the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative, a nonprofit working to develop a cradle-to-career pipeline for children in Ward 7.

“We’re delighted to see Mary’s good work again recognized,” says Lee. “She is entirely deserving for all the inspiring work she does.”