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Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Supporting Black students looking to study abroad



The Global Learning Office at Northwestern’s Buffett Institute for Global Affairs is hosting a series of events aimed at supporting Black students thinking about travelling abroad for a learning experience. 

Black History Month Global Week offers tips and strategies to help Black students navigate the unique obstacles they may face. 

 “The aim of this initiative is to offer Black students an opportunity to hear voices and experiences similar to theirs and encourage them to engage with study-abroad programs,” said Norvell Watts, program manager at the Global Learning Office. Three events comprise the week: 

What’s Poppin? Advice and Resources for Black Students 

When: Tuesday, February 21, 3:00 p.m. CST 
Where: The Black House, Room 301 

What's Poppin? is a bimonthly programming series highlighting Black Northwestern staff, faculty, and graduate/professional students' journey(s) and understanding of their role at the university. Through storytelling and casual dialogue, this program is a cornerstone for cultivating relationships within the Black community. In addition to meaningful conversations, participants will enjoy unique flavored popcorn from a local Chicago business. 

Norvell Watts of the Buffet Institute for Global Affairs (GLO) joins the Black House for the inaugural What’s Poppin program. Norvell is the program manager for GLO and is passionate about students learning more about the study abroad opportunities NU has to offer, as well as providing resources and access for navigating students' social identities while studying abroad. 

Black History Month Global Week Fireside Chat with Andrew Gordon 

When: Wednesday, February 22, 6:00 p.m. CST 
Where: Guild Lounge 

Andrew is an award-winning social impact entrepreneur and CEO & Founder of Includifi, an inclusion management software company that helps organizations achieve their belonging and success goals. He also launched and served as CEO of Diversity Abroad, a global education organization dedicated to diversity, inclusion and student success. The fireside chat will be moderated by Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman, Vice President & Associate Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer, and the Ida B. Wells and Ferdinand Barnett Professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University. 

Panel Discussion: Traveling While Black 

When: Thursday, February 23, 5:30 p.m. CST 
Where: Kresge 1515

The “Traveling While Black” panel will cover a range of topics, including travel accessibility, cultural norms abroad and Black travelers’ experiences with racism. Audience members will also be invited to ask questions at the end of the panel. The panel will be moderated by Northwestern graduate student, Gerpha Gerlin and include Ryan Rounds, Senior Study Abroad Program Manager in Northwestern Buffett’s Global Learning Office (GLO), Jessica Hunter (Weinberg ’23), a Northwestern undergraduate student majoring in Economics and African American Studies with a minor in Data Science, Aida Zeleke (SESP ’23), a Northwestern undergraduate student studying Social Policy while pursuing the pre-med track, Norvell Watts, Study Abroad Program Manager in GLO.  

Passport Initiative

Through GLO's new passport initiative, ten students will receive an award that covers the expenses associated with securing a passport, and do not need to have participated in or applied for a study abroad program to be considered. The recipients will be supported through the entire passport application process culminating in a visit to the Evanston Post Office to submit their applications. Applications are due February 28 and students can apply using this link  

About the Global Learning Office 

The Global Learning Office (GLO), housed within Northwestern University’s Buffett Institute for Global Affairs, serves as a comprehensive resource for international academic experiences for students at Northwestern. GLO offers a diverse range of programs abroad that challenge students to engage with difference, develop intellectually and emotionally, broaden their global perspectives, and expand their intercultural skills and understanding.