Howard’s New Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership

Dr. Dawuni on the new Center.

by Rin-rin Yu
Dr. Dawuni sitting on a stool with her arms crossed

For decades, Howard students have studied, embraced and debated women’s issues. Now, the field has its own home. In March, Howard opened the new Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership, made possible through a $1 million gift from HU Trustee Jim Murren and his wife, Heather Murren.

“We are connecting Black women wherever they may be located on the African diaspora to Howard and creating a space where we can have discussions about Black women globally,” says J. Jarpa Dawuni, Esq., Ph.D., the center’s executive director. The center focuses on four areas:

Student-centered teaching and learning.

In addition to offering a minor in women, gender and sexuality studies, the center will introduce student-run collectives – one undergraduate, one graduate – to allow students to plan their own programs. These include speakers, Alternative Spring Break, study abroad, internships and more.

Collaborative faculty research.

Faculty who study similar topics across different disciplines will build research networks to collaborate and apply for grants together.

Community-centered service learning.

The center will partner with University departments on women-focused community activities. For instance, programs related to women’s health, including mental health, through the College of Medicine. In addition, the center will engage with the greater Washington, D.C. community through such programs.

Global advocacy.

The center will focus on law and social justice, public policy, women's health and wellness, and business ventures as they relate to women. The vision, Dawuni says, is to "prepare future leaders who are gender-conscious and grounded in Black feminist consciousness through collaboration with faculty on research, service learning, and global engagement."

This story appears in the Spring 2021 issue.

More In...