#GWtoDo: Your Curated Arts and Events Agenda

Celebrate the diversity of the Black experience during Black History and Heritage month. Plus a monthlong run/walk challenge, film screenings, an IDDP panel on vaccine hesitancy and more.

February 01, 2021

(All times are listed in Eastern Daylight Time.)

Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m. Black is NOT a Monolith


Registration not required; join Zoom here

At this discussion-style event, GW students, faculty and staff will discuss stereotypes of the Black community, various ways of inhabiting Blackness and conveying to other communities that there is no exact definition of what being Black is. This is the first event of GW’s 2021 Black Heritage Celebration, constructed around the theme “Black Is ____.”

Coming Up:

Bodies in Technology


Sean Roberts event



Feb. 2 at 10 a.m. Trapped in the System: Experiences of Uyghur Detention in Xinjiang

Registration required 

More than a million Uyghurs and other Chinese Muslim minorities have been detained and imprisoned in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region since 2016 in a crackdown China claims is part of a counter-terrorism campaign aimed at rooting out “extremism.” But human rights groups and international observers believe there is evidence of systemic torture and human rights violations in these camps, including rich firsthand accounts from survivors. The Elliott School of International Affairs’ Sean Roberts, in collaboration with the Central Asian Program, will host this discussion with experts from Radio Free Asia and Human Rights Watch.

The Dissident



Feb. 2 at 4 p.m. Virtual LEAP Film Series: The Dissident

Registration required 

On October 2, 2018, Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabian policy, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and never came out. His fiancée and dissidents around the world are left to piece together clues to his brutal murder—and in their dogged quest for truth, they expose a global cover-up perpetrated by the country he loved. This Q & A with Academy Award-winning director Bryan Fogel will address questions of leadership and ethics in the high-profile murder. (This is not a screening, but registrants will receive a link to stream the film on their own.)

Vaccine Hesitancy forum



Feb. 3 at noon Global Online Harms: Vaccine Hesitancy

Registration required 

As the nation moves toward wider distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, it is crucial that public health experts develop effective strategies for communicating fact-based messages to combat anti-vaccine sentiment and increase vaccine uptake worldwide. The Institute for Data, Democracy and Politics hosts this webinar with global experts on the roots of vaccine hesitancy and what can be done to counter it.

African Samurai



Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m. African Samurai: The True Story of a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan

Registration required 

When Jesuit servant and bodyguard Yasuke arrived in Japan in the late 1500s, his arrival in Kyoto literally caused a riot. Most Japanese people had never seen an African man before, and many of them saw him as the embodiment of the Buddha, who in local tradition had black skin. After a powerful clan leader made Yasuke a samurai in his court, he began learning Japanese martial arts traditions and ascending the upper echelons of Japanese society. Thomas Lockley’s “African Samurai” presents the never-before-told biography of this unique figure of the 16th century, one whose travels between countries, cultures and classes offers a new perspective on race in world history and a vivid portrait of life in medieval Japan. Registrants will be entered to win a free copy of the book.

What's Next for Journalism and Political Communications?



Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. What's Next for Journalism and Political Communication?

Registration required

The inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. president comes at a critical moment in history—and marks an inflection point for American media and strategic communicators. What has changed in the last four years? Are those changes likely to continue? What are the big challenges going forward for the study and the practice of journalism and political communication? This conversation with members of the SMPA community is a look at the fields’ present and future.

GW Argentine Tango classes


Run/Walk challenge



Through Feb. 28 Run/Walk Challenge

Nike Run Club App required

Download the Nike Run Club App to take part in this stay-active challenge from GW Campus Recreation and Student Life. Track your perambulations and try to hit challenge milestones of 25, 50, 75 or 100 miles this month. All participants will be entered into a raffle for prizes. For detailed instructions, please click here.

Save the Date:

Bicentennial celebration



Feb. 9 at 4 p.m. Bicentennial Opening Ceremony

Registration requested

GW kicks off its bicentennial celebrations on the date of the 1821 congressional act that established the university, highlighting two centuries of GW moments and looking forward to the university's third century. The program will include discussions with current and former GW Presidents Thomas LeBlanc, Steven Knapp and Stephen Joel Trachtenberg with Reena Ninan, BA ’01, journalist and founder of Good Trouble Productions. Also participating in the program will be current Board of Trustees Chair Grace Speights, JD ’82; actor, producer and activist Kerry Washington, BA ’98, HON ’13; and CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash, BA ’93.

The virtual festivities will include musical entertainment, short films on student life at GW through the years and historic moments in faculty research and student readings from the university’s charter. For more information on GW's bicentennial, please visit http://bicentennial.gwu.edu/.

Nobody's Normal event



Feb. 10 at 4 p.m. Nobody's Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness

Registration required; closes Feb. 9 at 5 p.m.

For centuries, scientists and society cast moral judgments and imposed carceral punishment on anyone deemed mentally ill. In “Nobody’s Normal,” anthropologist Roy Richard Grinker chronicles progress and setbacks in the struggle against mental-illness stigma, from the 18th century through America’s major wars and into today’s high-tech economy. The talk will be followed by a live Q & A with the audience.

Lunar New Year 2021


Late Night Movie: Her


Bill Gates event



Feb. 17 at 4 p.m. A Conversation with Bill Gates: How to Avoid a Climate Disaster

Registration required

In “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster,” Bill Gates sets out an urgent and wide-ranging yet practical and accessible plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe. Mr. Gates will discuss what he’s learned about this complex and far-reaching challenge and why he remains hopeful that we can overcome climate change.

This event is open exclusively to current students, staff and faculty of The George Washington, American, Georgetown and Howard Universities. To ensure admission, please be sure to use your gwu.edu e-mail address when registering.