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DR. ANANYA CHAKRAVARTI

Associate Professor, Department of History, Georgetown University

Dr. Chakravarti's past work in digital archiving and public history includes creating a digital archive of manuscripts and rare books in Goa, supported by the British Library Endangered Archives Programme, and co-founding the Theory and Practice Workshop at the American University in Cairo, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which sought to rethink humanistic theory and practice from her location in post-revolutionary Cairo. She is passionate about working with students as makers of public history. (See, for example, her course project on archiving COVID-19.) 

 

She has been a resident of U Street since 2015, when she first moved to Washington, D.C., and loves the neighborhood and its vibrant community. You can listen to her describe the project at our community launch here:

 

VENUS AMADI

Howard University ('22)

Venus Amadi is a sophomore at Howard University, pursuing a degree in history and political science. Being a resident of Howard campus, close to the Shaw-U Street neighborhood, she was inspired to become involved in the research effort. The liveliness of U Street and the historical gems that line the street all add to the culture of Shaw-U. Moreover, her work within this research project is part of her undergraduate studies on a pre-law path. Utilizing the skills gained working with the history department, Venus plans on forging a prospective career in the field of Law.

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ALANDRO VALDEZ

Georgetown University ('21)

Alandro Valdez is a rising senior at Georgetown University, majoring in History and Government, with a minor in environmental science. Originally from Texas, Alandro is passionate about conservation, both environmental and cultural. With Venus, Alandro has focused on the historical research for this project, visiting the city's many archives, as well as collecting oral histories with community members.

MIRANDA LIU

Miranda Liu is a first-year at Georgetown University majoring in computer science. Miranda grew up in Germantown, Md., and has possessed a passion for problem-solving ever since she was young. After discovering an interest in computer science in 2012, Miranda has devoted much of her time to expanding her knowledge of the subject, learning different computer languages including Python, C++, Java, and VSB, while also exploring the topic of version control and data privacy. Miranda is excited to use her passion in computer science to serve the U Street community and learn from the wonderful experience.

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CHAU LE

Georgetown University ('23)

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Georgetown University ('21)

Chau is a senior at Georgetown University studying computer science and history. She is a West Coast transplant who enjoys frequenting D.C. museums, parks, and libraries in her free time. The historic U Street neighborhood is a favorite locale of hers, and she has really loved getting to know community organizers on a closer level through the archival project. It is her hope that the U Street archive will be used by future generations to remember and celebrate the neighborhood's rich past.

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JULIAN DOWELL

Georgetown University

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SAARET YOSEPH

Saaret E. Yoseph is a writer, filmmaker, and interdisciplinary artist with a background in cultural studies, documentary film, and digital storytelling. Her work has been featured on CNN, The Root, The Washington Post, and The Ethiopian Reporter, where she penned the weekly newspaper column, “Chronicles of a Diaspora Kid.” Her work on this project covered the gamut of roles from oral historian, media teaching artist, to documentary archivist. In tandem with this project, she is producing a multidisciplinary project about the legacy of the Ethiopian diaspora in Washington, D.C. Part narrative, part documentary, the independent project will pair oral histories from D.C. with visual archives from the Institute of Ethiopian Studies in Addis Ababa. Saaret is a first-generation District native, whose parents immigrated from Ethiopia in the 1970s. Former business owners, they operated a laundromat in the Shaw-U Street neighborhood.

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JULIAN DOWELL

Georgetown University ('22)

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As a sophomore at Georgetown majoring in African American Studies and native Washingtonian, I have a deep appreciation for history. You might be wondering where the connection lies between mixed reality and my major, but I’d argue the two run parallel to each other. My journey in the Mixed Reality space began with an internship I had last summer, where I had the opportunity to shadow the Mixed Reality department at the firm for a day. The experience opened my eyes to the beauty and boundless potential for Mixed Reality. The ability to visually render history, with a critical and intentional lens, provides us with a unique opportunity to engage with the past in unexpected ways. Watch my video demonstrating the mobile app I built with Femi here.

FEMI ORISAMOLU

Georgetown University ('22)

I am a sophomore here at Georgetown studying computer science. I'm from South Windsor, Connecticut, and I am the youngest in a family of seven. I've had an interest in computers and technology ever since I can remember, and I think programming specifically has had an incredible impact on my creativity, patience, and communication skills. At the moment, I'm developing an event-planning app for iOS called Blitz, which a few dozen students are using in the beta stages. I think this initiative is a great chance to practice my software development skills, but more importantly, to meet new people and collaborate for a good cause.

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SONALI MIRPURI

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Sonali Mirpuri graduated from Georgetown University in 2020. Originally from Slidell, Louisiana, Sonali studied government and history, with a minor in education, inquiry, and justice. During her senior year, Sonali wrote a history thesis  on Ben’s Chili Bowl in the U Street Corridor based on the oral history interviews she collected with the Ali family as part of her work on this project. (You can see a presentation of her thesis here.) Her passion for the forgotten histories of the South Asian diaspora allowed her to serve the community of U Street and as a member of the “Remembering YoU” project team.