Howard University Senior Bakari Sibert Becomes First Luce Scholar in School History

Howard University Senior Bakari Sibert Becomes First Luce Scholar in School History

Howard University Senior Bakari Sibert Becomes First Luce Scholar in School History

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Howard University is pleased to announce senior Bakari Sibert is one of 18 students selected to become a 2020-2021 Luce Scholar. After completing a competitive, three-month long selection process, Sibert is the first Luce Scholar in school history.

"On behalf of the entire campus community, I am delighted to congratulate Bakari Sibert on his appointment as the first Luce Scholar from Howard University," said President Wayne A. I. Frederick. "This prestigious fellowship experience will have a profound impact on his global perspective and propel him toward his career goals of building a more sustainable world."

Sibert was one of 165 candidates nominated by 70 colleges and universities across the country. As a Luce Scholar, he will journey to Asia to study traditional textile creation for 13 months.

"I am honored that the selection committee has chosen to support my vision for the future by providing me this opportunity. What I am looking forward to most is the possibility of becoming an accessible resource for those in my community," said Sibert. "Whether that be for people from my hometown who are looking to travel or students at Howard University looking to apply for the scholarship later. Traveling and interacting with cultures I am unfamiliar with has become a part of my art practice in that it gives me an opportunity for self-reflection that I may or may not have been looking for."

The Luce Scholars Program was started by the Henry Luce Foundation to enhance the understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society. The upcoming cohort will explore issues related to climate change, an issue the foundation believes is a central concern for the scholars' generation.

Sibert is a political science major, philosophy minor born in Atlanta and raised in Washington. He has a strong interest in the philosophical principles of political theory and bioethics. Sibert's interest in bioethics led him to become a Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics Research Fellow in 2019 where he developed a codebook of ethics for genetics and genomics research for Uganda in partnership with the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative.

In addition to his interest in philosophy, political theory and bioethics, Sibert is also an artist whose practice involves carpentry, illustration and fabric dyeing with natural dyes created by hand. He intends to use his studies and art practice to explore concepts of sustainable textile creation with a focus on longevity. In his view, longevity is created through the use of ethical labor practices, quality and organic materials, and minimizing water and chemical use.

"My plan is to create textiles that will support people through climate change," Sibert continued. "In addition, I intend to use sustainable textiles to shift social consciousness to be more eco-centric. My mission is to create work that will inform and affect change in environmental policy and aid work."

The Luce Scholars Program selects 15 to 18 scholars each year to gain new perspectives and cultural insights on their host countries through immersive living and working experiences in placements throughout Northeast, Southeast, and South Asia. A professional placement is individually arranged for each scholar based on their professional interest, background, and qualifications. Sibert will travel to New York City for an eight-day orientation where he'll have the opportunity to get to know other cohort members before departing for Asia.

"The Luce application process is a long one, and Bakari has put in the hard work to develop his wider purpose, his voice and his artistic focus," said Kari Miller, director of the Center for Honors and Scholar Development.  "We are excited to see him move forward with the next chapter of his journey through the Luce Scholars Program."

For more information about the Luce Scholars Program, visit

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 one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 70 Fulbright Scholars. 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

Media Contact: Alonda Thomas,


View original content to download multimedia:

SOURCE Howard University