Georgetown University kicked off its fifth annual week of social justice programming on Tuesday with a schedule of 15 events.
Social Justice Week is hosted by the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service, a collection of education, research and service programs intended to further social justice in the community. This year’s Social Justice Week features a variety of programming, including speakers, networking events, seminars and self-care workshops.
The annual week of events aims to raise awareness about social justice issues and encourage activism, according to Executive Director at the CSJ Andria Wisler.
“Drawing on its Jesuit heritage, Georgetown has a University-wide mission for social justice,” Wisler wrote in an email to The Hoya. “We hope that this week of diverse events with multiple campus and community partners, shows how the creation of a more just world can be and is the responsibility of all members and units of our Georgetown community.”
This year’s programming will take place over the course of five days. The week kicked off with a Feb. 18 discussion on effective race-conscious policies at universities titled “Doing the Inner Work of Racial Justice: Principles, Practices (and Prayers!) for Healing Ourselves and Transforming the World.”
The week will culminate in the “MLK Evening of Hope and Resistance,” an evening of spoken word, poetry and music meant to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy. The event will be co-hosted with the MLK: Let Freedom Ring! Initiative of the Office of the President and is a part of Georgetown’s Black History Month programming.
Each year, the CSJ brings in distinguished speakers honored for their scholarship in their field to discuss issues directly related to Black communities and the issues they face, according to LaMonda Horton-Stallings, chair and professor in Georgetown University’s department of African American studies.
One of the week’s events, titled “The Ella Jo Baker Distinguished Lecture: Black Resistance in the Digital Age — From Twitter to Black Queer Feminism,” will feature speaker Cathy Cohen, professor of political science at the University of Chicago and founder of the Black Youth Project, an organization designed to advocate for Black millenials.
Cohen will address evolving advocacy efforts for the Black community, according to Horton-Stallings.
“Dr. Cohen will discuss the growing role of digital media in the strategies of grassroots activists and politicians, community organizing, and social movements of various Black communities and societies across the globe,” Horton-Stillings wrote in an email to The Hoya.
Social Justice Week is intended to bring together departments and organizations across Georgetown’s campus, according to the CSJ website. The master of science in health and the public interest program invited Alejandra de Mendoza, assistant professor at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, to speak Wednesday.
Mendoza’s seminar focused on how women from minority communities experience disparities in receiving proper medical counseling and testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The seminar will highlight the intersection of social justice and medicine, according to Vi Nguyen, Educational Coordinator at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
“We invite speakers who are leaders in their field,” Nguyen wrote in an email to The Hoya. “Since many of our students are interested in social justice and changing public health through activism and advocacy, we thought it was appropriate to invite Dr. Mendoza for this week’s seminar.”
Students should attend and actively participate in the events hosted during Social Justice Week, according to Nguyen.
“It is important that our graduate programs engage with the community and attend events outside of the classroom,” Nguyen wrote.