About the Team

Associate Professor Ananya Chakravarti (Photo by A. Sanesh)

Dr. Ananya Chakravarti is associate professor of history at Georgetown University. Her 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. 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.

Sonali Mirpuri

Sonali Mirpuri is currently a senior at Georgetown University. Originally from Slidell, La., Sonali is studying government and history, with a minor in education, inquiry, and justice. During her senior year, Sonali will be writing a history thesis concerning the South Asian diaspora, with a specific case study on Ben’s Chili Bowl in the U Street Corridor. Her passion for this subject allows her to serve the community of U Street and as a member on the “Remembering YoU” project team.

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.” She is working with Georgetown University’s history department as an oral historian, media teaching artist, and documentary archivist on the “Remembering YoU” project. 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. 

Venus Amadi

Venus Amadi is a sophomore at Howard University, pursuing a degree in history and political science. She is currently working with Georgetown University’s history department as a research assistant on the “Remembering YoU” archival project. 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.

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.

Associate Professor Maurice Jackson

Maurice Jackson is associate professor of history at Georgetown University and adviser to this project. Before entering academia, he worked as a longshoreman, shipyard rigger, construction worker, and community organizer. Jackson has won many fellowships and is the author of many articles on the Atlantic world and African American history and culture. He is the author of Let This Voice Be Heard: Anthony Benezet, Father of Atlantic Abolitionism, co-editor with Jackie Bacon of African-Americans and the Haitian Revolution, and co-editor with Susan Kozel of Quakers and their Allies in the Abolitionist Cause, 1754-1808. Most recently, he co-edited, with Blair Ruble, D.C. Jazz: Stories of Jazz Music in Washington, D.C. Jackson also wrote the liner notes to the two jazz CDs by Charlie Haden and Hank Jones, Steal Away: Spirituals, Folks Songs and Hymns and Come Sunday.

A 2009 inductee into the Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame, he was appointed by the Mayor and the Council of the District of Columbia as the first chair of the D.C. Commission on African American Affairs (2013-2016) and serves as special advisor on D.C. Affairs to Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia. In the fall of 2017, he issued a report to the D.C. government: “An Analysis: African American Employment, Population & Housing Trends in Washington, D.C.” He is currently at work on Halfway to Freedom: African Americans and the Struggle for Social Progress in Washington, D.C