Alumna and Author Paula J. Giddings Will Serve as the Howard University 2018 Charter Day Convocation Speaker on March 2


WASHINGTON (February 27, 2018) --- Howard University alumna and historian Paula J. Giddings will serve as the speaker for the 2018 Charter Day Convocation scheduled Friday, March 2 at 11 a.m. in Cramton Auditorium (Processional begins at 10:30 a.m.). The event is free and open to the public.

“We are delighted to have one of Howard’s native daughters return home for this auspicious occasion,” said President Wayne A. I. Frederick. “As an author and a scholar, Paula Giddings understands the significance of Charter Day and the need to reflect on where Howard has been while celebrating its students and alumni who daily forge paths that leave an enduring legacy in their own right.”

Paula J GiddingsGiddings is the Elizabeth A. Woodson 1922 Professor Emerita of Africana Studies at Smith College. She is the author of When and Where I Enter: The Impact on Black Women on Race and Sex in America; In Search of Sisterhood, Delta Sigma Theta and the Challenge of the Black Sorority Movement; Burning All Illusions, (editor) an anthology of articles on race published by the Nation magazine from 1867 to 2000; and Ida, A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching.    

Ida, A Sword Among Lions (2008) received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award. The book was deemed one of the best books of 2008 by the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, and also earned the first inaugural John Hope Franklin Research Center Book Award presented by the Duke University Libraries. Ida earned the Letitia Woods Brown Book Award from the Association of Black Women Historians; and the Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavas Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights.

Before attaining her position at Smith, Giddings had taught at Spelman College, where she was a United Negro Fund Distinguished Scholar; Douglass College/Rutgers University as the Laurie Chair in Women’s Studies; and Princeton and Duke Universities. Giddings is a proud native of Yonkers, New York. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Howard University in 1969. She is a member of P.E.N., a writers’ group; The Century Association; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the Coalition of 100 Black Women, and serves on the boards of both the Nation Institute and the Authors’ Guild Foundation. In 2017, she was inducted in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Friday’s Charter Day Convocation sets the stage for the following evening’s highly-anticipated Charter Day Dinner and Dance. The annual black-tie gala is Howard's premiere fundraising event. This year, the proceeds from the dinner will support the Student Aid Campaign and its efforts to directly address the gaps that exist in financial aid for Howard students. During the event, the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards will be presented to Giddings in the field of journalism; Dorie A. Ladner in the field of social work; and Reverend Bernard L. Richardson, Ph. D. in the field of religion. The Capstone Distinguished Service Award recipient is Millard “Jim” Watkins III, general manager of WHUR.

Howard University Charter Day Dinner and Dance tickets can be purchased by visiting, the


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About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced four Rhodes Scholars, nine Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, one Schwarzman Scholar, over 60 Fulbright Scholars and 22 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States.  For more information on Howard University visit





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