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Howard University Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership Receives Support to Provide More Research for Women of Color

Center for Women Launch

WASHINGTON The Howard University Center for Women, Gender, and Global Leadership has received support from Pivotal Ventures, a Melinda French Gates company, to develop innovative research and strong, sustainable, multinational global partnerships.

Through investments, partnerships, and advocacy, Pivotal Ventures accelerates social progress in the United States by removing the barriers that hold people back.

“The gift from Pivotal Ventures will strengthen the foundation we are building at the center,” said J. Jarpa Dawuni, Esq. Ph.D., Director of the Center for Women, Gender, and Global Leadership. “We recognize the inclusive vision of Melinda French Gates in promoting gender equity across a wide range of local and global challenges. Howard University is at the intersection of many of these challenges, and as we celebrate Women’s History Month, this gift reinforces the commitment of our partners, like Pivotal Ventures and Howard University’s commitment to gender equity and equality”.

Pivotal Ventures’ support will primarily be used to establish The Consortium, a national collaborative using intersectional frameworks to center the experiences of Black women and girls through positive narratives and empowerment. The Consortium is anticipated as a partnership between the Howard University Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership, African American Policy Forum, National Birth Equity Collaborative, and The Policy Academies. The Consortium will provide innovative research, data, and programming to advance gender equity and close the achievement gaps for women of color.

Additionally, the center plans to launch an annual HBCU conference on women and leadership. This conference will bring together scholars who are women of color across the United States to engage on the important topics of women and gender issues and compile research into special editions of peer-reviewed journals, edited books, anthologies, and other creative works. The conference will also have a special focus on graduate and undergraduate students who are interested in co-authoring and co-presenting with faculty.

“To help tackle some of the problems affecting women and families in the United States today, we must support more innovative solutions and provide more resources,” said Ada Williams Prince, director of Program Strategy and Investment for Pivotal Ventures. “We envision a world where Women and Girls of Color have a chance to contribute, participate, and live a better life and are excited to contribute to Howard’s journey in enriching the voices of future leaders and decision-makers.”

The Howard University Center for Women, Gender, and Global Leadership’s mission is to be an interdisciplinary global center of excellence on Black women, focusing on gender issues, feminist activism, and transformational leadership through innovative research, service-learning, and impactful partnerships. Students will have opportunities to engage in days of service to the community focused on women and gender-related issues;  and work with faculty across all the thirteen colleges and schools at Howard University. The center is currently designing an interdisciplinary Global Women’s Leadership Certificate that will combine entrepreneurial leadership, business, and other disciplines in preparing our students for global leadership.

The center is the first of its kind to be established at Howard University and in any historically Black college and university (HBCU). As the only HBCU to join the UN Women campaign for gender equality, the HeForShe Campaign, Howard University has committed to increasing opportunities for women’s leadership in higher education, promoting gender awareness and inclusion on campus, and leading HBCUs in promoting discussion and programming on Black masculinities. The first HBCU Presidential Summit on Gender Equality under the Howard University HeForShe Campaign was held on February 25, 2022. The summit provided a platform for engagement between President Wayne A.I. Frederick, President Javaune Adams-Gaston of Norfolk State University, and President Roslyn Clark Artis of Benedict College. The three student leaders included Kylie Burke, Howard University, Kennedy Byrd from Benedict College, and Jaylin Drewery from Norfolk State University. The event was moderated by Professor Danielle Holley-Walker, Dean of the Howard University School of Law.

The new center, and partnerships all strategically position Howard to build on the legacy of Black women’s excellence in leading their communities and the nation.


About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.

Media Contact: Misha Cornelius; misha.cornelius@howard.edu