Recent SCS Programs Emphasize Mission, Diversity & Inclusion Values

The School of Continuing Studies advances the overall mission of Georgetown University while promoting its own unique mission from within the context it serves:

To deliver a world-class, values-based education to a diverse array of communities and individuals throughout their academic and professional careers; to improve employability and develop workforces; and to contribute to building a civic-minded, well-informed, and globally aware society.

This statement gives a clear sense about how SCS connects the students and communities it works with to the relevant knowledge, skills, and values needed in the marketplace and larger society. The SCS liberal and professional education curriculum responds to changing social and economic trends, striving to anchor its many programs in the values that animate Georgetown University. By being so directly grounded in professional life and practice, the School enacts its mission through its many partnerships with external organizations, companies, and governmental agencies.

As part of a newly developed SCS program, “Hoyas Ask Experts,” Dawnita Wilson, VP of Diversity and Inclusion at JBG Smith, offered guidance and reflections about the behavioral and cultural changes needed to realize a more equitable organization.

Two recently launched programs demonstrate how SCS lives out its mission in this education context by incorporating principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion that are critically needed today:    

  • This spring, SCS launched a partnership with the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) to create the Innovative Leadership in Public Administration Certificate Program. Developed around leadership and professional development skills, the program helps address the challenges facing public administrators in diverse communities. By cultivating and forming leaders through an innovative, applied curriculum that attends to the whole person, the program aims to transform the communities served by these public administrators.

    Georgetown’s Jesuit values are being intentionally incorporated into this leadership program. In an interview with The Hoya student newspaper, SCS Dean Kelly Otter noted how the program’s culminating Capstone provides opportunities for participants to develop strategies rooted in social justice to improve their local communities. Julia Murillo, senior director of custom programs at SCS, highlighted the program’s emphasis on cultivating mindfulness and self-care, making a direct connection with the Jesuit value of cura personalis. You can learn more about the program in this SCS webstory and in this article printed in The Hoya student newspaper.
  • The second recent SCS program event examined how local and global companies are developing and advancing diversity and inclusion strategies in response to the racial and social justice movements of 2020. The event took place as part of a new series, “Hoya Ask Experts,” and featured Dawnita Wilson, vice president of diversity & inclusion at JBG Smith. Convened by Mike Canter, SCS senior associate dean of students and academic operations, and Walid Bouiachi, student in the Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate program, the hour-long session explored the criteria for an effective and meaningful diversity and inclusion strategy.

    Dawnita Wilson presented on the way that she has shaped JBG Smith’s framework in diversity and inclusion, emphasizing that intentionality and leadership’s commitment to change are critical components of cultural and behavioral transformation on issues of diversity. A thorough assessment of the existing culture needs to guide the diversity and inclusion approach, said Wilson, and should attend to both champions of this equity work and those who are resistant. I was struck by the emphasis in the presentation on the importance of individual conversations that can guide and inform the overall work of greater inclusion in an organization.

Mission in Motion has addressed why diversity, equity, and inclusion are a constitutive element of SCS mission and values. These recent programs highlight some of the ways that the School has committed to this integration.