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The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown Students Bring Anti-Racist Empowerment Conversations to Campus

Students involved in athletic teams, academic departments and student government at Georgetown have participated in discussions this month hosted by “A Long Talk About the Uncomfortable Truth,” a Washington, D.C. based anti-racism empowerment organization.

Georgetown Swimming & Diving coaches chose the organization’s co-founders, Kyle Williams and Kamal Carter, to serve as honorary coaches at the Oct. 7 swim meet between Georgetown and D.C. rival and HBCU Howard University. At the second-annual “Battle at the Burr,” Carter and Williams — in partnership with the Hoyas’ Swimming & Diving Team — aimed to spread the organization’s mission to the over 1,000 attendees.

The initiative, often referred to as “A Long Talk,” promotes an experience of anti-racist activism, which Georgetown has previously incorporated via training sessions with Georgetown University’s Sailing and Women’s Basketball Teams in February 2023. “A Long Talk” seeks to emphasize and educate participants on a policy of anti-racism, which includes the identification and interruption of racist behavior, in an effort to eliminate racism and systemic oppression in the United States. 

Georgetown Swimming & Diving Head Coach Jack Leavitt said the partnership was uniquely significant due to the demographics of Georgetown’s team and the nature of the sport. 

“In a sport like ours, which is predominantly white, I thought it’d be important to try to get their information out there to more people,” Leavitt told The Hoya. “We’re just trying to help them spread their message as well, and get our team to activate more, get more swim teams to activate more around the country.” 

Following the meet, Williams and Carter had a 90-minute conversation with the team about promoting greater diversification in the sport and increasing access to swimming and diving across all socioeconomic backgrounds, according to Leavitt.

Amada Paris (CAS ’25), a diver and physics student at Georgetown, attended the team’s discussions with Williams and Carter. Paris said the experience inspired her to consider ways “A Long Talk” can be expanded into academic spaces on campus and is currently working on inviting Williams and Carter to speak to the university’s physics department.

“My first thought in taking it to physics is that this is a department that would be open to it, that would be willing to grow and to learn and to sit through being uncomfortable,” Paris told The Hoya. “The second is that science is such a white male-dominated space, which we need to change so badly.” 

Paris said bringing conversations about anti-racist activism to the physics department would have positive, long-term effects on the department’s culture.

“Equipping everybody with those tools and empowering the department will make its way,” Paris said. “For that to be their culture that they’re building and fostering, I think is really important.” 

Georgetown University Athletics | Members of the Georgetown community participated in trainings and discussions hosted by “A Long Talk About the Uncomfortable Truth,” a D.C. based anti-racism initiative.

“A Long Talk” first met with the Hoyas’ Swimming & Diving team in January 2023, according to Leavitt. Following the talk, two team members — Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) President Camber Vincent (SFS ’24) and Engagement Director Isabella Wylie (CAS ’24)—began coordinating with Williams and Carter to bring “A Long Talk” to student government.

The pair’s efforts came to fruition last month when “A Long Talk” hosted training sessions with GUSA senators and executive members to discuss ways that Georgetown can engage in anti-racist conversations and incorporate such measures in university activities. 

Vincent said “A Long Talk” brings important conversations to the Georgetown community, particularly GUSA members.

“The concepts discussed in the program are important for all students at Georgetown, and especially members of student government who seek to be leaders on campus,” Vincent wrote to The Hoya.

“A Long Talk” co-founder Kamal Carter said GUSA’s involvement with their organization has significantly expanded their outreach, particularly as they seek to bring the experience beyond athletics.

“It’s going to set a precedent and a shockwave across the country as a blueprint for, ‘How do we move outside athletics and move to the thousands of students across campus?’” Carter told The Hoya.

Carter said he hopes participants will have a better understanding of the history of racism in America as well as the tools to deconstruct microaggressions and racist norms on college campuses. 

“Our goal is, first of all, to put an anti-racist at every dinner table in America,” Carter said. “In 15 years, we want to eradicate racism.”

Dylan Davis (CAS ’26), a GUSA senator who attended the training sessions, said the discussions were informative and eye-opening. 

“In all of my talks, and all of my education, I had never really had somebody come in and give me tools and really walk me through the process of how we can address seeing a racist behavior in person,” Davis told The Hoya. 

Davis said the initiative serves as a wake-up call for college campuses and students around the country. 

“It was a call to action in terms of ‘How can we flip the switch?’ And instead of being passive onlookers, ‘How can we be active anti-racists on campus?’” Davis said. 

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