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2021 Black History Month Celebration

March 3, 2021

Throughout February, Johns Hopkins SAIS observed Black History Month, the annual celebration honoring African-Americans in the United States and the numerous achievements and contributions they have made to our nation, its history, and culture. The SAIS Diversity Council, SAIS Student Diversity Coalition, SAIS Black Student Union and SAIS Europe held events and participated in activities celebrating African-American culture and history.
 
SAIS Diversity Council
 
The SAIS Diversity Council hosted a workshop conducted by Shawntay Stocks, Assistant Director of Engaged Scholarship at the Johns Hopkins Center for Social Concern, in which attendees explored their personal and social identities as they relate to power and privilege. SAIS Global Careers held a session with Apoorva Gandhi, Vice President of Multicultural Affairs at Marriott International, as part of the Diversity Council's programming. During the session, Gandhi discussed diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.
 
Members of the Diversity Council and SAIS Student Diversity Coalition conducted a virtual seminar titled, "DCPS Passport to International Affairs" for students at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, DC focused on international relations. The Diversity Council also held a Black History and international relations trivia hour and celebrated African history and achievement by organizing a docent-led virtual tour of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art's Caravans of Gold exhibit, which addressed the scope of Saharan trade and the shared history of West Africa, the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe from the eighth to 16th centuries.
 
SAIS Student Diversity Coalition
 
The SAIS Student Diversity Coalition organized for Piero Gleijeses, Christian A. Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy at SAIS, two lectures from his course, ‘Race and Empire: The United States from Independence Through WWII,’ that were open to the SAIS community. These lectures covered the role of enslaved Black Americans during the push for U.S. independence and impact the Haitian Revolution and Louisiana Purchase had on the future of the United States.
 
On February 1, the Student Diversity Coalition developed a special newsletter consisting of a listing of Black History Month events in the Washington, DC area and podcasts and foreign policy books created by Black authors, thinkers, and leaders in international relations.  Also, the Student Diversity Coalition included a Black History Month trivia questionnaire within each edition of the Blueser, a weekly newsletter created by the SAIS Student Government Association. Students who answered all the questions correctly throughout the month received gift cards to shop at Black-owned stores in the Washington, DC area.
 
SAIS Black Student Union
 
The SAIS Black Student Union hosted its inaugural W.E.B. Dubois Lecture featuring Darrick Hamilton, the Henry Cohen Professor of Economics and Urban Policy and founding director of the Institute for the Study of Race, Stratification and Political Economy at The New School, who discussed how economic equality can help address racial injustice. Joseph Losavio '15, Community Specialist for Infrastructure and Development Initiatives at the World Economic Forum, was the Black Student Union’s featured guest for a roundtable talk where he examined the economic cost of racism. In addition, the Black Student Union hosted, "Showing up for Racial Justice in DC," a conversation featuring Kési Felton, founder of Better to Speak, and Allegra Massaro, co-founder of Fuel the People, where they touched on ways people can get involved in social advocacy efforts in the Washington, DC area.
 
SAIS Europe
 
SAIS Europe hosted Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley '84 for a seminar as part school's 66th anniversary titled, "America is Woke: Can the Biden Administration Keep Us That Way?" During the conversation, Ambassador Abercrombie-Winstanley discussed her hopes for the Biden administration, her 30-year career in international diplomacy, the importance of breaking down the barriers women and minorities face in international relations, and answered student questions about foreign service careers.

View the 2021 Black History Month Programming