The Presidential Initiative on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery, launched by University President Lawrence S. Bacow in November 2019, plans to hold a series of events in the coming months before presenting its findings in April.
Launched at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the initiative explores Harvard’s historical ties to slavery. Beginning March 24, the committee’s slate of events will include university-wide panels and virtual tours, leading up to a conference on April 29 showcasing the group’s work.
The committee’s final report and recommendations will focus on the lasting impact of slavery on the school curriculum, campus life, medical education, and museum collections. Committee members also examined Harvard’s ties to sugar cane plantations in Antigua and other Caribbean countries.
“All public programming this spring is designed to interact with the findings of the landmark report, which will be released in late spring,” read an email from the Harvard team and the legacy of the project. ‘slavery.
In March, guest speaker Michael W. Twitty will chronicle his work as a history interpreter and food historian, presenting his research on African-American eating habits and heritages.
A panel in April, organized in conjunction with the Eileen Southern Initiative, will focus on the connection between American choral music and race. A performance by the Aeolian – an Oakwood University choir founded by Eva B. Dykes, the first black woman with a doctorate. a graduate of Radcliffe College – at the Sanders Theater will follow.
Former Harvard Law School Dean Martha L. Minow and HGSE Professor Meira Levinson led the program initiative subcommittee, which created a film of student and scholar perspectives on the history of the university and its links to slavery. Radcliffe Institute will release the film this spring.
Other scheduled offerings include a virtual walking tour showcasing Harvard’s history, a student art exhibit, and a “remembrance and healing” ceremony. The committee wrote in an email that it hopes public health considerations will allow the rallies to take place in person, but it plans to make live streaming and recordings of the events available.
“The April 29 conference and indeed all of our events this semester will in some way address the overarching question: what do we do now, and how can we ensure that the revelation of this story can inspire a renewed commitment to institutional reform, to community engagement and to our highest aspirations as a learning community?” the team wrote in an email.