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Johns Hopkins SAIS Diversity Council Observes Black History Month

February 10, 2020

The school’s Diversity Council honored Black History Month throughout February 2020 with a variety of events, which included discussions, museum visits, and film screenings. The celebration began with a trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture attended by students, staff, and a few of the school’s deans. Throughout the month, students and staff also visited the African American Civil War Museum and National Museum of African Art.

Ambassador Harriet L. Elam-Thomas was the featured guest for a discussion focused on the deeper understanding of the intersection of foreign affairs, international relations, and the global experience for African American people. Dean Eliot A. Cohen moderated the discussion in which Ambassador Elam-Thomas emphasized the need for inclusion in foreign service, particularly for African Americans and other people of color.

The school’s Student Diversity Coalition contributed to Black History Month programming by hosting “The African Diaspora: A Key to African Development,” which featured a presentation by Dr. Landry Signé, David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution, on trends in demographics, economics, labor force, and investment across the African continent. Following the presentation, Signé moderated a panel discussion between African American and African students and recent alumni on the challenges of identity experienced by students of African descent.

Additional events included a luncheon with underrepresented minority students and Diversity Council members, film screenings for “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and the Harriet Tubman’s bio film, “Harriet,” a school supply drive benefiting DC Public Schools, and a Black History Month trivia game.