About the John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award
Each year, Georgetown awards the John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award to an emerging local leader to reinforce the university’s commitment to engagement within Washington, D.C., and to identify talent among the city’s most inspirational community leaders who are working to solve key issues that are responsible for shaping the city and the people who live in it. Since 2003, the award, named for the legendary Georgetown head basketball coach emeritus, Washington, D.C. native, mentor, advocate and community leader – John Thompson Jr., has been awarded to civil rights icons, children’s rights advocates and other humanitarians. In 2012, the university began awarding local leaders to reinforce the Georgetown’s commitment to engagement within Washington, D.C.
Beginning as the nonprofit’s only employee, Khari has since built CPE from a niche program that reached only 50 students per year to an organization that supports 500 students and has tripled its student body over the past five years. CPE has helped its students overcome the barriers that limit most low-income students, and, under Khari’s leadership, the organization has seen 61% of its graduates complete college on time, a rate that is nearly three times that of similar students nationally. Most recently, Khari co-founded the Talent for Tomorrow Alliance, a new network of five organizations that prepare local young adults for economic mobility through career preparatory and higher education programming opportunities. He is also a member of the 2021 Class of Leadership Greater Washington’s signature program, an intensive 10-month program that exposes professionals to regional civic issues through education, connection and knowledge sharing.
Khari received both his bachelor’s degree in American studies and master’s degree in education from Tufts University. A former professional basketball player, Khari has dedicated his career to expanding educational opportunities for low-income youth. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife and two school-aged children.
Hawah Kasat, co-founder and executive director of One Common Unity (OCU), was honored as Georgetown’s 2019 John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award recipient at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Abel Enrique Núñez, executive director of the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), was honored as Georgetown’s 2017 John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award recipient at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Alumna Nakeisha Neal Jones (G’02), executive director of Public Allies DC, was honored as Georgetown’s 2016 John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award recipient at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.