Letter from the writers of ‘Invisible on campus’
The reporting for this series began last August with research on the Black Manifesto Collection archived in Olin Library’s special collections section. This collection contains the 1968 Black Manifesto, as well as subsequent manifestos and related documents. The original manifesto came out of a sustained activist effort following the arrest of a black Washington University student and comprised a series of demands upon University administrators, such as increasing numbers of black students and faculty and instituting a black studies program.
Our reporting continued throughout the fall semester as we conducted in-depth conversations with nearly 50 members of the Washington University community, who shared their experiences and perspectives about a variety of issues related to race relations, diversity and inclusion on campus. This series focuses specifically on the experiences and statistics surrounding these themes for black members of the University community.
A reading note: Typically, Student Life does not identify the races of sources quoted in our pages. In the case of this series and the nature of its content, however, we have intentionally chosen to indicate the races of those we interviewed. This is standard journalistic practice in stories concerning issues of race, and we hope it will provide clarity regarding the various backgrounds and perspectives embodied by each of our sources.
We would like to offer our thanks to everyone who spoke with us for this story, and to our readers for taking the time to devote attention to the issues this series highlights. We hope that this process will help further dialogues on diversity and inclusivity on our campus.