February 2017

Johns Hopkins SAIS celebrated Black History Month 2017 with a series of events exploring African American contributions to history, culture, and economic policymaking. 

On February 3rd, Roger W. Ferguson, Jr, President and CEO of TIAA, spoke with students and alumni about his positive outlook on the U.S. economy. Ferguson then addressed the pressing economic challenges for the new U.S. administration and concluded by offering lessons learned through his leadership in boardroom diversity efforts.

On February 10th, the school organized a visit to two exhibits at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, “In the Groove” and “Harlem Heroes,” showcasing iconic images of 20th century jazz artists and photographic portraits of central figures in the Harlem Renaissance. After touring the exhibits, participants learned more about the artists and themes of their work in a talk with Walter Evans, noted collector of African American art and artifacts.

On February 13th, the school's diversity committee hosted a dinner and screening of the movie “Selma,” a chronicle of the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition.

On February 14th, a panel of experts discussed the current and future trend of policies addressing racial equality in educational and labor market outcomes. William M. Rodgers III of Rutgers University argued that the larger black-white wage gap today is not only a result of black-specific features in the economy, but also of the general economic trends. Cornel University's Michael Lovenheim discussed the quality-fit tradeoff embedded within the affirmative action policy in the realm of higher education admissions.

On February 24th, Chiedo Nwankor, Visiting Research Associate and Adjunct Lecturer, assessed the existing state of gender relations from a lens of ‘intersectionality’ of Hilary Clinton, Beyoncé, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Nwankor asserted that race, gender, and culture are forces that interact dynamically to create institutions that reinforce gender norms.

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