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University of Maryland Renames Women’s Studies Department to Honor Harriet Tubman

Written by Good Black News

September 8, 2020

The Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies has a nice ring to it. As of September 4, it’s the name the University of Maryland‘s Women’s Studies department will bear.

New UMD President Darryll J. Pines hailed the change in a letter to the campus community:

[This is] the first honorific naming of an academic department at UMD, the Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. It is fitting that this heroic Marylander is now honored at the state’s flagship university.

The department is widely acclaimed for its unique concentration in Black feminist thought and intersectionality, and it is the only department in the nation that offers a Black women’s studies minor, jointly with the Department of African American Studies.

Historically, Black women have played a brave and critical role in social justice. Harriet Tubman’s life and her dedication to freedom and equality speaks directly to the department’s mission, now and in the years ahead.

Bonnie Thornton Dill, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland said to WTOP News  she hopes the name change helps to bring awareness to Tubman’s contributions locally and nationally.

“She was born in Maryland and shaped much of the state’s history and as a flagship institution taking her name represents a kind of acknowledgement to how she contributed to changing the society,” Dill said. “We really see the incorporation of her life and work into the curriculum, programming and services impact that will impact not just this department but the campus as a whole.”

Additionally, UMD’s President Pines announced a new program coordinator for immigrant and undocumented student life as well as the creation of a community policing task force.

Pines wrote that these and other administrative actions “mark meaningful progress toward realizing our vision of a truly inclusive campus. Our work is not done.”

Original article source: | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council

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