Bastions of higher education are quaking as Black students target relentless racism. And college administrations should shake. Despite paying lip service to diversity, most U.S. campuses have done away with affirmative action programs and currently feature overwhelmingly white faculty and student bodies. Today’s young organizers of color have no interest in keeping this status quo.
Students at University of Missouri and Yale have led the charge, building on the wave of protests for civil rights and racial justice that started in Ferguson, Mo., a year ago. At both campuses protesters demand wide-sweeping change.
With Black women in the lead, organizers are reaching across race lines to create broad-based support on campus and in the community. Both the president and chancellor at Mizzou have been forced to resign as a result of demonstrations, a hunger strike, and a high-profile solidarity boycott by the football team and coaching staff. At Yale, organizers have expanded their demands to include the burning issues of poor and immigrant students.
These campaigns are contagious. Smith College, Loyola University and Ithaca College are now tackling their administrations. Led by determined Black students, a critical political movement is gaining momentum.
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