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Georgetown University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
37th and O Streets
Washington, District of Columbia 20057
Phone
(202) 687-0100
School Information
Georgetown University is one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions, offering a unique educational experience that prepares the next generation of global citizens to lead and make a difference in the world. We are a vibrant community of exceptional students, faculty, alumni and professionals dedicated to real-world applications of our research, scholarship, faith and service. Established in 1789, Georgetown is the nation’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university. Drawing upon the 450-year-old legacy of Jesuit education, we provide students with a world-class learning experience focused on educating the whole person through exposure to different faiths, cultures and beliefs. Students are challenged to engage in the world and become people in the service of others, especially the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the community. These values are at the core of Georgetown’s identity, bringing together members of the community across diverse backgrounds. (source: https://www.georgetown.edu/about/)
General Information
Georgetown has embraced diversity and inclusion for over a decade, since a student town hall meeting in 2009 (source: https://ideaa.georgetown.edu/diversity-inclusiveness/#). In 2017, Georgetown accepted a grand from the Mellon Foundation after it initiated the Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation: Georgetown uses a $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help carry out its commitment to produce scholarship that helps the nation better understand and address its legacies of slavery, racism and discrimination. The five-year Mellon grant will assist the university in establishing a center for racial justice, hiring faculty experts in the field, supporting postdoctoral and graduate fellows and funding a series of visiting lecturers. The grant comes after the release this past September of a report containing recommendations from the university’s Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation (SMR), which was charged with reflecting on Georgetown’s historic involvement in the institution of slavery. A second team, the Working Group on Racial Justice, is working on areas addressed by the grant along with exploring how the university may create a home for researching slavery and its legacies, based on the SMR report and major commitments set by the university. “The university has made a commitment to elevate and accelerate its efforts to address the persistent, enduring legacy of racism and segregation in the American experience,” says Georgetown Provost Robert Groves, a co-chair of the Working Group on Racial Justice. “This grant from the Mellon Foundation is a notable recognition of the importance of that commitment," (source: https://www.georgetown.edu/news/mellon-grant-helps-university-advance-racial-justice-recommendations/)

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • June 2020: University Holds Racial Justice Dialogue in Wake of Recent, Past Police Brutality.
  • In April 2021, the Provost committed to guiding academic departments in changing curricula, and to increase the impact of diversity in admissions.
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The first few weeks in Georgetown Law School’s mandatory first year property law course are not spent on foundational cases as most law schools, but rather they are spent on “structural racism and cultural appropriation.” The birth of modern property law, according to Georgetown’s curriculum, is “not to English courts, but to Native dispossession and the enslavement of African Americans.” The course defines possession as “a legal term of art for a settler capitalist society.”
  • In September 2021, Georgetown University Law Center’s faculty approved an eighth institutional learning outcome. All students will be expected to have the “ability to think critically about the law’s claim to neutrality and its differential effects on subordinated groups, including those identified by race, gender, indigeneity, and class.”
  • In the first-year curriculum at Georgetown Law, students are required to take an elective course that has been certified by the Dean for Equity and Inclusion to “focus on the importance of questioning the law’s neutrality.”
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
  • The Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service teaches students how to protest, and partners with the ACLU and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to teach them their rights. Additionally, students can learn how to write their city councilor urging them to defund the police.
  • The Center for Multicultural Equity and Access offers new students a pre-orientation program to help them become social justice activists.
  • Constitutional law professor at Georgetown, Gary Peller, admitted to being a critical race theorist for over 30 years and argued that parents don't understand CRT and that “politicians and media outlets are misrepresenting critical race theory to engage disaffected White people.”
Program and Research Funding
  • Georgetown announced the establishment of a new Racial Justice Institute (RJI) and the hire of three faculty members in the areas of law, the arts, health and public policy who will lead the institute’s interdisciplinary work that pushes the frontiers of knowledge about race, equity and action. The Racial Justice Institute at Georgetown will serve as a hub where scholars, activists and thought leaders may work across the academic, policy and advocacy spaces and serve as a place to seed and inspire the next generation of scholars and leaders addressing the vestiges of enslavement and well-being of Black, Indigenous and people of color.
  • The Ambassadors for Racial Justice (ARJ) is a program that is sponsored by the Georgetown Juvenile Justice Initiative that “aims to grow the number of juvenile defenders” who are “committed to challenging racial injustice in the juvenile legal system.”
Re-Imagining Policing
  • Georgetown University Police Officers are required to participate in Implicit Bias/Cultural Competency Training several times a year. The training consists of in-person and on-line sessions. Names and photos of all officers are published on the website.
Resources
  • In Spring 2020, Georgetown launched its first-ever cultural climate survey, inviting degree-seeking students at our Main Campus, the Law Center and the Medical Center to share their perspectives and experiences about different aspects of campus life. Led by our Campus Cultural Climate Survey Working Group, comprising representatives from the Main Campus, the Law Center, and the Medical Center, the survey was adapted from the Culturally Engaging Campus Environments questionnaire developed by the National Institute for Transformation and Equity. The survey provided students the opportunity to reflect on a range of issues—their sense of belonging, experiences involving bias, prejudice, and discrimination, campus accessibility, the classroom environment, and University resources and responsiveness.
  • The report of the campus climate survey was released in April 2021. “The task for us, within our Georgetown community, is to build and sustain a culture that encourages respect, inclusion, equity, and understanding that responds to and rejects all forms of discrimination.” – President John J. DeGioia
  • Georgetown offers an Executive Certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. "The Executive Certificate in Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion prepares you to analyze, diagnose, and address diversity, equity, and inclusion issues within organizations. As a student in the program, you’ll gain the leadership skills and insights needed to support a strategic, sustainable approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion management while utilizing knowledge of yourself as an agent of change in the workplace."
  • The Georgetown University Library provides an Anti-Racism Toolkit with a number of resources on anti-racism, social justice, Black Lives Matter, systemic racism, white privilege, and anti-oppression including a number of works by Ibram X. Kendi.
  • On November 19, 2021, Georgetown Law held its inaugural series on The Reading Race Book Club with “The Whiteness of Wealth: How the Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans - And How We Can Fix It.”
  • The Doyle Conversations on Anti-Racism in Higher Education is a series hosted by the Doyle Engaging Difference Program that discusses the anti-racism work by students, faculty and staff at Georgetown University which “occurs in a wide variety of settings, from curriculum design, to classroom learning, to student life.”
  • Georgetown celebrated Black History Month 2022 with a number of scheduled discussions and events on Anti-Racism, Black Life, Black Identity, Anti-Blackness and Settler Colonialism, Social Justice, Black Educators in White Spaces, and Black Lives.
Symbolic Actions
  • The Chemistry Department published anti-racism resources, "adapted from the Breonna Taylor Organization."
  • Members of the Georgetown University community testify in support of a proposed resolution declaring racism a public health crisis in Washington, DC.
  • Georgetown College Hosts Racial Justice Speaker Series to Promote Equity and Inclusion
Last updated July 26th, 2022
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