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Who We Are

The August Wilson Society is a multidisciplinary community of educators, visual and performing artists practitioners, students and theatre professionals and theatre lovers dedicated to commemorating August Wilson's legacy. AWS promotes the studying, teaching, researching, performing, and ultimately, the safeguarding of the rich narrative of the African American past that Wilson has bequeathed to the world in the form of 10 plays that chronicle the stories of African Americans from 1904 to 1997.

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The August Wilson Society (AWS) was founded within the College of Arts and Sciences in Spring of 2006, shortly after the passing of August Wilson at age 60. 


The August Wilson Society is a vibrant national organization founded on the campus of Howard University in the wake of Mr. Wilson’s death in 2005. This longstanding organization is proud of its strong ties to Howard and since its inception, has earned the endorsement and respect of the university’s leadership.


AWS has also garnered the trust and cooperation of key stakeholders at the August Wilson Estate.  But perhaps the organization’s greatest achievement since its inception has been the multiple programs it continues to offer to introduce August Wilson to a new generation of learners and to oblige others who seek more intense engagement with his works.

AWS Charter Members

2024 - 2026 Board Members

Dr. Sandra Shannon
Abdul Ali
Melda Beaty
Dr. Michelle Cruz
Michael D. Dinwiddie
Dr. Keith Byron Kirk
Dr. Khalid Y. Long
Dr. Ken Palm
Rochelle Riley
Dr. Isaiah Wooden

August Wilson Society
Founder President

The August Wilson Society became the brainchild of a group of Howard University scholars, many of whom had been inspired by the April 2005 national conference, Situating August Wilson in the Canon and in the Curriculum that was conceived by English Department professor emerita and nationally recognized August Wilson scholar, Dr. Sandra Shannon, and convened at Howard University.

Sandra G. Shannon, PhD

Strategic Alliances

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