Julian Clement Chase Prize Celebration

An evening celebrating the intellectual joys of living in and learning from the District of Columbia

The University Writing Program is proud to announce the 2021 Julian Clement Chase Prize with an evening celebrating the intellectual joys of living in and learning from the District of Columbia. The Prize Ceremony takes place online at the Conference for Community Writing. Attendance at the Prize Ceremony is free and open to the public. Register online in advance

Keynote speaker Brigette Rouson, principal of Rouson Associates, will bring an equity frame to organizational change in her talk, "Liberating Powers: Community Building in Word, in Deed.”

Then 2021 Prize winner Chase Kleber will present material from his prize-winning essay, "Sundays in the Park.” Analyzing the drum circles in DC’s Malcolm X/ Meridian Hill Park with a particular focus on sound, Kleber explains his project this way: “I seek to study space, specifically being Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park – this designated, bordered, and monitored land – and I wish to encounter the various ways of being in it with a careful approach to sound. I highlight the importance of care, as I require methods beyond an objectifying imperial gaze.” Kleber’s thoughtful, creative, and frankly beautiful essay mirrors Julian Chase’s own love for exploring his city.

About the Award

The prize is named in honor and memory of Sgt. Julian Clement Chase, a native Washingtonian and graduate of Wilson High School who was serving with the United States Marine Corps in Afghanistan when he received word of his GW acceptance. He was set to enter in Spring 2013, but on Memorial Day 2012, at the age of 22, he was killed in action in Helmand Province. Julian knew and relished his city, and his family established this prize in his honor to recognize others who explore DC with the intelligence and exuberance he did. It recognizes undergraduate writers at the George Washington University who have looked around themselves and brought back fresh impressions and new knowledge about DC. The family intends the prize to recognize and honor appetite, boldness, the striving toward humane excellence, and the building of community.

Honorable Mention for 2021 goes to the Rethinking DC Youth and Policing Project, a collaboration by Bishop Walton, Kylie Foster, Ale D’agostino, Kourtney Buckner, Melanie Mata, Betty Hailu, Grace Tulley, Hannah Jackson, Camile Germinal, Jeily Bonilla, and Hanna Yalew. These ten scholars, working together with GW’s Black Student Union, the GW Nashman Center (GW’s hub for civic engagement), the Sociology Department, and the Metropolitan Police Department, are researching ways to drive down youth arrests in DC and divert children from the justice system. The projects are still in-progress, and we want to acknowledge how fully they meet the spirit of the Prize by linking GW research and resources with the concerns and communities within the city.

To interview prize winner Chase Kleber, or for more information, please contact Professor Ryder. For further background on Julian Clement Chase & the prize, please visit the University Writing Program page and read more from the Washington Post and the GW Hatchet.