“The first step toward tolerance is respect and the first step toward respect is knowledge.” ― Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

The Inkwell Society is a group of committed donors who are passionate about the important work of Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. in partnership with WETA. They are dedicated to promoting and funding Dr. Gates’s pipeline of films that examine the rich history of this country and the African American experience. Inkwell Society members support the production of these high-quality, impactful films, as well as accompanying educational outreach materials, digital and social media activities, and community engagement.

Join the Inkwell Society

Support the programming of Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.!

For more information, please contact Vivian Luke, Senior Director, Principal and Major Gifts, at vluke@weta.org or 703-998-2812.

A Message from Dr. Gates

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and WETA


Henry Louis Gates, Jr., discusses the importance of the quality historical programming he produces in partnership with WETA and with the support of WETA viewers.

What's New

  • Our very own Skip Gates narrated a special video for the “We Can Do This” Campaign from the US Department of Health and Human Services. The campaign aims to increase vaccine confidence while reinforcing basic prevention measures:

  • The seventh season of the critically acclaimed PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. premiered on January 18th, 2021. This season features 20 new guests, including Glenn Close, Audra MacDonald, Christopher Meloni, Clint Black, Rosanne Cash and Pharell Williams. 
  • On February 16th and 17th, The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song premiered. This intimate four-hour series from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., explores the 400-year-old story of the Black church in America, the changing nature of worship spaces, and the men and women who shepherded them from the pulpit, the choir loft, and church pews.

Upcoming Productions on WETA

Finding Your Roots 2012 - present

The Making of Black America: Spring 2022

The Great Migration: 2024

About Dr. Gates

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, historian, best-selling author, award-winning filmmaker, and host of the popular genealogy series Finding Your Roots.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. - Uncovering America | Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

He has produced numerous history documentaries such as The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, Africa’s Great Civilizations, and Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise. Dr. Gates’s most recent production Reconstruction: America After the Civil War was announced as a 2020 recipient of the prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award for Journalism.

You can follow Dr. Gates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.