Harvard Students Rally for Ethnic Studies Outside Alumni Conference

More than 50 Harvard students gathered outside the Charles Hotel
Friday afternoon to demand the University create a formalized ethnic
studies program.
The Harvard Ethnic Studies Coalition, which
comprises affiliates across the University, organized the event, dubbed
“The 47-Year Fight: Student Rally for Ethnic Studies.” Students
specifically chose to congregate at noon to attract the attention of
alumni and administrators — including University President Lawrence S.
Bacow — attending the Alumni Leadership Conference luncheon which took
place in the Charles Hotel at the same time.
Jeannie Park ’83, a
Coalition member and president of the Harvard Asian American Alumni
Alliance, said she hoped that holding the event at the same time as the
alumni conference would encourage alumni to help publicize the need for a
formalized ethnic studies program.
“When I tell other alumni who
aren’t paying as close attention, people are honestly stunned. ‘Really?
There’s no ethnic studies at Harvard?’ It kind of blows their mind,”
Park said. “It’s so important for the administration to hear from all
constituencies, not just students, not just alumni, not just faculty.”

Prior to his speech at the conference and the start of
the rally, Bacow paused outside the Charles Hotel to converse with
James L. Walkingstick ’21 opened the rally with a prayer in his traditional language of Cherokee to bless the cause.
students read passages from University and Crimson archives, including
letters penned by activists dating back to 1985. They also read past
Crimson articles about historical developments in the fight for a formalized ethnic studies program.

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