Howard University will create a Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership, dedicated to interdisciplinary research and programs to elevate women of color into management roles through corporate partnerships and internship and scholarship opportunities for students, President Wayne Frederick announced in a virtual press conference Thursday.
Howard, a historically Black university in Washington, D.C., received a $1 million starter donation from businesswoman and philanthropist Heather Murren and her husband, Jim Murren, a university trustee and former CEO of MGM Resorts International. The donation kicks off a fundraising campaign with a $5 million goal to fund the center by January, Frederick said during the press conference. The center will be led by Jarpa Dawuni, a professor of political science who has been a Fulbright Specialist Scholar and Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow, a press release about the center said.
The center will conduct international, faculty-led research about the experiences of women, and specifically women of color, in the professional world and issues with economic mobility, Dawuni said during Thursday’s press conference. Her vision for the center “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,” she said in the press release.
Students in the program will be paired with women leaders for mentorship opportunities, in an effort to propel more Black women to “take their rightful place as leaders in every facet of our society and the global community,” Frederick said in the press release.