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Honoring Black History Month

Feb 02 2023
Amaney Jamal, Dean

Dear SPIA Community,

As we begin Black History Month, we honor the strength, resiliency and numerous contributions that Black Americans have made to our nation, its history, and culture. As we celebrate those contributions, we are also mindful that many Black Americans — and all of us — have spent recent days expressing our collective outrage about another case of police brutality towards a Black man in this country. We are reminded that despite seemingly insurmountable structural barriers, Black Americans have continued to persevere. As public policy practitioners, there is much for us to learn from the realities of the Black experience in America — past and present.

I encourage you to engage in the many upcoming events and programming being planned across the University during the month of February. Here at SPIA, we're excited to host Dr. Moriba Jah this week as part of our Dean’s Leadership Series. Jah is the first African-American aerospace engineering professor in the history of the University of Texas. His work as an astrodynamicist and space environmentalist has allowed him to create incredible learning opportunities for underrepresented students who wish to pursue careers in the STEM fields.

We are also putting preparations in place to launch our SPIA in New Jersey initiative later this semester. This new initiative, led by Stacy Mann, will link the research of SPIA faculty and students to help inform public policy that advances racial, social and economic equitable policies in the State of NJ.

Princeton’s Office of Communications will be publishing a round-up of events and content related to Black History Month on the Princeton homepage. Among them, the Princeton University Library (PUL) will present a revelatory exhibition, “Toni Morrison: Sites of Memory,” excavating the creative process of the literary giant, former Princeton University Professor, and 1993 Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. That exhibit opens on February 22nd.

Below is a roundup of other Black History Month programming at SPIA. We encourage you to stay tuned to SPIA’s social media channels and to our events page for more information.


Amaney Jamal, Dean


Upcoming SPIA Events

February 2

CSDP America Politics Colloquium: The Geography of Racial Voting
Location: 300 Wallace Hall

The Center for the Study of Democratic Politics (CSDP) will host Stephen Ansolabehere, professor of government at Harvard. This event will present the first study of racial voting patterns in every congressional district in the U.S. and will discuss the extent to which groups’ voting preferences differ and vary across geography.

DC CORE Coffee, Cookies, and Convo
Location: Robertson Hall Room 020

Come meet staff from the DC CORE (including Rolando Cuevas, MPA ’22) for informal conversation about racial equity impact assessments, working in local government, the legislative process, job hunting, and more.

The Council Office of Racial Equity’s (CORE) mission is to eliminate racial disparities and achieve racial equity in the District of Columbia. When successful, race will no longer predict opportunities, outcomes, or the distribution of resources for residents of the District, particularly for Black, Indigenous, and other residents of color.

DEI Dinner with DC CORE Workshop for SPIA grad students
Location: JRR 399

This workshop covers:

  • Defining what racial equity impact assessment (REIA) is
  • Organization’s roles and how they participate in the legislative process
  • What sort of trainings DC CORE provides to the council
  • Situating REIAs within broader policy analysis/share some best practices for how more policy

February 5

SPIA Black Film Night
Location: Princeton Garden Theater

Signup link:

February 22

SPIA Hosts 50 Strong for “Power in Public Policy Workshop”
Location: Arthur Lewis Auditorium

50 Strong is a peer-to-peer mentoring program at Piscataway High School that focuses on improving the life and academic outcomes of young men of color and underserved youth in high school. Piscataway students will meet with SPIA students, staff, and faculty to explore what public policy is and the impact they can make on their communities as they pursue this career path.