Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service
Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service

Invitation to Participate in Teach the Speech 2022

[updated on January 2, 2022 to reflect VIRTUAL (not hybrid) event]

December 2021

Dear Georgetown Faculty and Staff,

This year, Georgetown University’s MLK: “Let Freedom Ring!” Initiative honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will provide the opportunity to continue the conversations on our campus about our capacity to bring about social change. Guided by Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community, we encourage all members of the university to reflect on urgent problems that demand social action.

Georgetown’s events honoring the legacy of Dr. King are highlighted by a program honoring our annual John Thompson, Jr. Legacy of a Dream Awardee. Events will continue through the month of February, celebration of Black History Month, and the rest of the semester.

Each year, Georgetown faculty, staff, and students across campuses and schools read and reflect on one of Dr. King’s speeches or texts during the Spring semester. In the last nine years, diverse faculty and staff across the University have participated in this cross-campus curricular initiative by teaching Dr. King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (2013), about the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (2014), Dr. King’s “The Other America” speech (2015), his Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech (2016), “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence” (2017), “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” (2018), “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution” (2019), “Where do we go from here?” (2020), and “Our God is Marching On” (2021) in their courses and educational spaces.

For 2022, the Provost’s Office encourages faculty and staff to “Teach the Speech” and incorporate Dr. King’s 1965 speech entitled “I Have a Dream” (text and audio / multimedia) during the Spring 2022 semester. Fill out this form to commit your course or unit to “Teach the Speech” in Spring 2022. On this same form, you can RSVP for the annual Teach the Speech Teach-In, an event scheduled for Tuesday, January 11, 2022 at 11:30am co-hosted by the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS), the Center for Social Justice (CSJ), the Doyle Engaging Difference Program, and the Division of Student Affairs. The event will be VIRTUAL and presented to a Zoom audience.

The Teach-In will feature two short keynote addresses, a student reflection, and a facilitated dialogue among our three speakers. Our first invited mini keynote will be offered by Virginia State Senator Jennifer McClellan, whose political career and service as Chair of the Virginia Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission showcases her commitment to racial and social justice. Our second invited mini keynote is from Georgetown University Law Center Class of 2004 graduate, Neonu Jewell, JD, MBA, MDiv, who serves as the Critical Race Theory Research Fellow at the African American Policy Forum. Veronica Williams (C’23), a junior in the College pursuing a major in American Studies and minors in Psychology and Public Health, will offer the student reflection. Ijeoma Njaka (G’19), Senior Program Associate for Equity-Centered Design at the Red House and Inclusive Pedagogy Specialist at the Laboratory for Global Performance & Politics, will facilitate a dialogue with the speakers. 

We invite all Georgetown faculty and staff to commit time within their unit, office, or program to read and reflect on Dr. King’s speech with their colleagues and students. We invite members of the Main, Medical, Law, and Qatar campus communities to join in this effort.

With best wishes for a safe and healthy holiday season,

Robert M. Groves