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School Highlights

New programming

  • To raise the visibility of the dean’s office, engage with thought leaders outside Northwestern, and further our conversations and work around diversity, equity, and inclusion, last fall the school launched the “Dialogue with the Dean” series, a quarterly virtual event in which Dean Johnson facilitates a discussion with a scholar in communication. Guests this past year were John L. Jackson, Ruha Benjamin, and Safiya Noble. Programming is in progress for the 2021–22 series, themed “The Year of the Artist.”
  • The school launched the Kelsey Pharr Jr. Speaker Series to highlight artist-scholars who represent diversity and inclusion in the performing arts. Series guests this last academic year were Lili-Anne Brown (C95), Jess McLeod (GC14), and Brian Quijada.
  • Michael R. Jackson

    The school organized a conversation with journalist Dorothy Tucker (C78) as our first event aimed solely at Black alumni and also welcomed two exciting theatre makers as Hope Abelson Artists in Residence: A Strange Loop creator Michael R. Jackson and theatre director Moises Kaufman.
  • In April the school showcased an exciting partnership with the Pritzker School of Law’s Center on Wrongful Convictions: a dramatic reading of Erik Jensen and Jessica Blank’s 2000 play The Exonerated. Featuring such alumni as Harry Lennix and Katrina Lenk as well as Dean Johnson, students, and faculty, the reading was broadcast to a virtual audience; a follow-up talkback featured cast members and one of the exonerees profiled in the play.
  • A number of listening sessions were held for populations across the school to make the dean’s office aware of the unique challenges faced by specific groups within our student, faculty, and staff ranks.