Racial Justice

University Strategic Initiative

Almost 160 years after the abolition of slavery, its legacies persist—in ways both obvious and obscured. To this day, our nation still does not fully understand these ripple effects, and how they shape our collective story. But we do know that Georgetown has a crucial role to play in studying them, and in illuminating the path forward.

As a Catholic and Jesuit academic institution, we are called to prepare students to contribute to a more equitable world. We are called to explore the role of race in society. And we are called to acknowledge our own university’s role in the injustice of slavery as we prioritize action.

Students, faculty, alumni, and partners across our entire Georgetown community have been contributing to this work, some for decades. Now we must amplify these efforts, accelerating our contributions to the greater good.

A university-wide commitment

This is—and will continue to be—a whole-institution undertaking. Work is happening at many levels; across an array of initiatives; through education, research, and action. We are focusing our energy and resources on areas where Georgetown’s unique strengths and perspective allow us to have an outsized impact, and we invite our donor community to advance initiatives that will be crucial contributors to this work.

A Testimonial

robert hagerty

“Working with the [Health Justice Alliance] gave me a glimpse of what real healing can look like, where you address the biological and the societal problems that are keeping someone from having a healthy life. …I no longer feel like I could practice anywhere without trying to make connections with legal advocates for my patients in need, it would not feel like complete care.”

—Robert Hagerty (M’20), now a pediatric resident physician at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, on the Health Justice Alliance’s work training the next generation of health, law, and policy leaders to work together

A Testimonial

lisa rawlings

“If we are committed to building a just and equitable society, it is essential that policymakers, civic leaders, and public servants represent all the communities, especially those disproportionately impacted by public policy.”

—Lisa Rawlings, president and CEO of the National Urban Fellows, which partners with the McCourt School of Public Policy to strengthen the pipeline of leaders from all racial and ethnic backgrounds, particularly people of color and women

A Testimonial

Charlene Brown-McKenzie (C’96)

“The Community Scholars Program helps first-generation, low-income students establish community and increase their social capital and confidence so they can thrive in a highly competitive, predominantly white, affluent, elite atmosphere. The program has really elevated the university as a national elite institution dedicated to community and diversity.”

—Charlene Brown-McKenzie (C’95), director of Georgetown’s Center for Multicultural Equity and Access (CMEA), which supports students of color and is home to the Community Scholars Program

What is a University Strategic Initiative?

In this campaign, we ask: What could Georgetown accomplish with more expansive university-wide collaboration? We have identified several university strategic initiatives—including Racial Justice—that are poised for extraordinary impact. They span all of our campaign commitments, tap into expertise across multiple schools, and—with the right philanthropic support—will mark a new era of interdisciplinary problem-solving at Georgetown.

Related Stories

campus sign in front of healy hall

Georgetown announced today 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…

Marc Howard teaching course to incarcerated individuals

The Georgetown Prisons and Justice Initiative (PJI) will introduce a full bachelor’s degree program for 25 aspiring students incarcerated at Patuxent Institution in Jessup, MD, in the next academic year.

Explore opportunities to support Georgetown’s racial justice ambition

Support this work

There’s urgent work we can and must do—with implications for all areas of our university, the communities we serve, and the systems that shape our shared society. Donor support will be essential as we work to realize these opportunities and translate Georgetown’s unique capabilities into a more just world.

To learn more or to contribute to these priorities, please contact us at giving@georgetown.edu.