Georgetown College Hosts Racial Justice Speaker Series to Promote Equity and Inclusion

Photo by Clay Banks, Unsplash, group of people kneeling at protest
Photo by Clay Banks, Unsplash

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Next week, Georgetown College will host its first event in the series “Such a Time As This”: Racial Justice and the University in order to explore how research by Georgetown faculty advances racial justice and how the university may continue to work for a more equitable community at the university level and beyond. Starting Wednesday, September 30 and happening each week in the month of October, faculty panelists will discuss how race and racism intersect with areas like the arts, gender, immigration, health and criminal justice so that every Hoya may holistically undertake one of the pillars of the Jesuit tradition: care for each person in their entirety. 

“The Racial Justice Speaker Series represents one part of the necessary work we must do to recognize and then act on the deeply embedded racial inequities in our society,” says Christopher Celenza, dean of Georgetown College. “Our diverse and interdisciplinary speakers will bring different perspectives to this ongoing conversation. I appreciate the work they are doing and am honored that the College will be hosting this series.”

Research and Racial Justice

These conversations invite faculty from various departments and programs across campus, including the Department of African American Studies, the Department of English, the Department of French and Francophone Studies, and the Department of Sociology

Soyica Colbert, vice dean and Idol Family Professor of the College of Arts and Sciences says that the title of the series draws from Esther 4:14. 

“I understand this passage as a call to action and responsibility for those put in positions of power,” says Colbert. “The series will consider how Georgetown faculty’s research advances racial justice and how racial justice produces certain responsibilities for researchers. We will consider how the pursuit of justice informs the impact of each speaker’s work, understanding that pursuit as a fundamental part of being a faculty member at Georgetown.”

This series is part of the new Racial Justice Initiative which will be formally launched through Georgetown College next semester. It’s first course, Anti-Black Racism: History and Ideology, Justice and Resistance, will be taught by Colbert and Robert Patterson, a professor in the African American Studies department. 

“Racial justice and anti-racist praxis require a mastery of the histories that created, cultivated, and exacerbated racial inequities, and that threaten to make these inequities insurmountable without thoughtful, systematic, and energetic thinking, planning and implementation,” says Patterson. “This course equips students with both the knowledge and skills necessary to think about and enact racial justice, exploring the complexities, complications, and contradictions that emerge when trying to create a beloved community and more perfect union that center Black communities and Black citizens.  

“Situated firmly in the historical and pedagogical mission of Black Studies, this course equips students to address these opportunities,” he concludes.

These conversations have been scheduled from 12:00-1:00pm EST on Wednesdays throughout the month of October, starting on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 and concluding on Wednesday, October 28, 2020. Please click here for more information and to sign up for each event.

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