A look at the rhetoric surrounding dialogue on diversity, changing strategies in activism and remaining challenges the University faces.
Ask administrators about Wash. U.’ history of recruiting black students, and they’ll say that attempts to diversify the undergraduate population aren’t new. “We’ve been focused on it for a really long time,” Julie Shimabukuro, the Japanese-American director of admissions, said. “Wash. U.’s my alma mater, so this is a really important thing to me personally and to our office.” But the numbers don’t bear out tangible results from that focus.
Washington University’s early history with racial integration was a rocky one. In the late 1800s, with the onset of Jim Crow segregation throughout the nation, institutions like Wash. U. that had previously accepted black students, however infrequently, completely barred their doors to them.
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.
Over the course of the fall semester, Student Life spoke with nearly 50 University community members, comprising administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni. We were searching for evidence of a plan to counteract the University’s history of homogeneity; we hoped to hear tangible, specific tactics that the administration will either continue or adopt to increase the low percentages of black students and faculty and to improve the campus climate.
Excited students, faculty, parents and members of the St. Louis community filled Edison Theatre on Friday and Saturday to enjoy “Lest We Forget,” a Black Anthology production. Black Anthology is an annual student production that explores important issues pertinent to the African-American culture through drama, poetry, dance and music.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my roots. I grew up literally 10 minutes away from campus on Delmar Boulevard in University City. I went to the district’s public schools from pre-k to senior year, and I always had a lot of pride in my background. I loved telling people that I was part […]