Harris celebrates Black History Month.

The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy is proud to host several events in honor of Black History Month. The series convenes prominent speakers, activists, practitioners, community members, and University of Chicago alumni, faculty, students, and staff.

The events seek to facilitate meaningful conversations about the Black experience in higher education and the fight for equality and social justice, and to highlight the policy contributions made by Black policymakers, thinkers, and activists.

All events are virtual, free, and open to the public.


Black Mayors Leading America’s Cities: Path-breaking Approaches to Tackling Urban Policy

Monday, February 1, 2021 | 6:30-7:30 p.m. CST

Watch- Black Mayors Leading America's Cities: Path-breaking Approaches to Tackling Urban Policy

Movements in the streets. Schools shut down due to COVID-19. Fights for fair housing and quality transportation. Even before the uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and the racial reckoning that came to the fore in 2020, America’s cities were leading the nation to address the wide-range of issues facing their communities, from big concepts like equity and social justice, to smaller but still important issues like fines and fees, potholes, and basic city services. Join an esteemed panel of Black mayors who are at the forefront of governance for a discussion of race, politics, and policy in some of the county’s most diverse and dynamic cities.

This virtual event, moderated by Derek Douglas, VP for Civic Engagement and External Affairs, will feature Karen Freeman-Wilson (Gary, IN), Michael Nutter (Philadelphia, PA), Steven Reed (Montgomery, AL) and Michael Tubbs (Stockton, CA).

Race & Racism in International Development 

Thursday, February 11, 2021| 9:00am-10:00am CST

Watch-Race & Racism in International Development 


Through research, practice, or policymaking, many in the international development sector work in pursuit of a more just order on a global scale. But truly achieving these goals requires interrogating the colonial and racialized underpinnings of the development project itself. Join Dr. Kathryn Nwajiaku-Dahou, Director of the Politics and Governance Program at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) for a discussion on how to confront these roots in order to construct a truly diverse development sector that confronts racism and unequal power relations.

Black Action in Public Policy in Collaboration with Minorities in Public Policy and the Office of D& I Presents "Black in Tech: AI and Tech Policy"

Thursday, February 18, 2021| 12:30pm-1:30pm CST

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Technology is constantly advancing. It is shaped by its creators and thus takes on their goals and ideals. When representation comes in to play; who is among the creators in the tech space, it is important that this reflects the world we live in. In celebration of Black history month, this event will bring together Black Professionals in the Technology and Tech Policy space. They will bring to us their experience in their field and share their goal and ideals as contributors to this space. 

This event will feature: Leah Castleberry (MPP 20) -Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Technology Fellow in partnership with Google; Jared Lewis (MPP 20) - Congressman John Lewis Social Justice Fellow Science and Technology; and Alexiaa Jordan- Innovation, Cyber and National Security Analyst.

Black Mental Health: A Time During COVID-19 and Civil Uprising 

Thursday, February 18, 2021| 5:30pm-6:30pm CST

The COVID-19 virus has disrupted the world at an unprecedented scale. And over the past several months, Black Americans have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 compared with their white counterparts. This has only been compounded by widespread civil uprising in protest of racial discrimination and police brutality. In these times, the African American Alumni Committee seeks to highlight the impact that these events have on the mental health of affected individuals, and to discuss and explore ways of coping and recovery.

Join us for a compelling conversation with Janelle R. Goodwill, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice, Kouri Marshall, Co-Founder of ChiGivesBack, Inc., and Suzet McKinneyDrPHMPH, CEO/Executive Director of the Illinois Medical District. The panel will be moderated by  alumna Tina K. SacksAM ’98PhD ’13, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley.

Women of Color Advancing Peace & Security 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021| 6-7pm. CST

Watch-Women of Color Advancing Peace & Security

The Pearson Institute's February Lunch and Learn, cosponsored with Harris Public Policy'sMAIDP Program, will feature Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, Founder, Executive Director, and Chair of Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security, and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS).

The Black Experience in the Field of Economics

Thursday, February 25, 2021 | 6:30-7:30 p.m. CST

Watch- The Black Experience in the Field of Economics

Economics is one of the most important fields in academia, government, and finance – yet it is also one of the least representative. Join a community of Black economists – emerging scholars and those more advanced in their careers – for a discussion on the Black experience in economics: entering and progressing within the discipline, the academy’s racial and cultural blind spots, and what the future brings for Black economists, both with respect to the profession and the ultimate goal of driving policy change and impact. 

This virtual event, moderated by Damon Jones, Associate Professor, Harris Public Policy, will feature Lisa D. CookSandile Hlatshwayoand Trevon Logan.

Harris After Hours: Black History Month Celebration

Thursday, February 25, 2021 | 7:30-9:30 p.m. CST

Join your fellow Harristas to celebrate Black History Month at Harris After Hours as we host Ashlee Haze. Haze is a poet and spoken word artist from Atlanta by way of Chicago. She is one of the most accomplished poets in the sport of poetry slam. She has been a part of the Atlanta poetry circuit for over a decade and has been writing for over 15 years. She recently appeared on NPR's Tiny Desk series alongside Blood Orange.