Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown Professor Named a 2023 Freedom Scholar

An associate professor in the Department of African American Studies received a $250,000 award for her research in racial and economic justice as she was named a 2023 Freedom Scholar.

Professor Dayo F. Gore, the recipient of the award, conducted research focusing on the intersection of history, politics, activism and gender studies in the African diaspora. The Marguerite Casey Foundation administered the award. 

The Foundation supports scholars who research social justice and ways to reform democracy, the economy and American society. The foundation started the Freedom Scholar Award in 2020 to promote scholarship in issues of justice and freedom in movements that support marginalized communities including people of color. 

Gore met with advocates at the Foundation to discuss what the award means to her as a celebration of uncovering forgotten figures in history.

“The idea of freedom is a very complicated and thorny idea, but when you think about resources, to me, that speaks more to power,” Gore said in a Foundation’s video. “What kind of intellectual research and pursuits come under attack? When we give resources to that work, I think we give resources to actually thinking differently.” 

Gore published her first book, “Radicalism at the Crossroads,” in 2011. The book covers Black radical women activists during the Cold War and how they influenced the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

Gore said her book’s primary focus was to tell the stories of activists that mainstream history has forgotten.

“One of core messages is the persistent struggle for liberation,” Gore wrote to The Hoya. “As a central text on the history of black women in the US left, it provides an alternative model for studying black women’s activism and intellectual history that moves away from the historical studies of singular individuals.”

Gore said she found the women’s longevity and connection the most compelling in her research. Many of the Black women activists remained active and relevant in Black politics in the 1970s and 1980s, working together despite the political fracturing of many leftist organizations. Gore’s next book will examine Black women’s activism and transnational travels between 1890 and 1980.

Gore said the scholar award will benefit her research to continue supporting her work in promoting justice within academia.

“The award aids my research in affording me the time and resources to continue my scholarly pursuits and also sustain my collective activism, currently in support of Scholars for Social Justice,” Gore wrote. “Thus, while I don’t always view my scholarship as activism, my scholarly pursuits and interests have always been informed by and informed my activism.”

Associate Professor of Philosophy Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò, who became a Freedom Scholar last year, said Gore’s work helps promote the stories of forgotten activists in the Georgetown community.

“I’m excited to hear about the much deserved recognition and support for Professor Gore’s pathbreaking and careful scholarship. Above all, I’m deeply honored to be listed with her among so many scholars, some of whom I was fortunate enough to learn from while a student, and no doubt will continue to learn from as a scholar,” Táíwò wrote to The Hoya.

Elise Merchant (CAS ‘25), who works as a student assistant in the Department of African American studies, applauded Gore on the distinguished honor. 

“Her involvement within the department enriches our community daily, and I know her work on Black women’s studies is sure to flourish under this award,” Merchant wrote to The Hoya. “As a Freedom Scholar, her compassionate spirit and insightfulness will continue to inspire meaningful change and discovery.”

Gore said she was humbled by the award and believes it is important in creating spaces for marginalized voices in the academic community.

“It is a real honor to be included among such a powerful group of scholars-activists that make up both past and current Freedom Scholars and so many committed scholars who I admire and learn so much from,” Gore wrote to The Hoya.

“I think most importantly the award acknowledges and celebrates scholarly work and scholars that are deeply connected to collective organizing and communities working to imagine and create a more just world,” Gore added, “A perspective that is not always valued in academia.”

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