A “welcome back” party is where all are welcome — except those of one particular race. That appears to be the case at an iconic college.
A glance at Harvard University’s online calendar reveals an August 29th celebration of the return to school. Held at the Science and Engineering Complex, the BIPOC Connections event was described thusly:
Join us for Harvard‘s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Connections, a welcome event for students, staff, faculty, postdoctoral researchers, fellows, and those who want to learn more about resources to support BIPOC community members at Harvard. The Office for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging invites you to a community Welcome Block Party. Enjoy food and refreshments, play lawn games, meet community members, and celebrate the start of the new academic year.
It’s a curious move for a group promoting DEI — come one, come all, except some who will be excluded to the detriment of diversity. Evidently, even a department devoted to inclusion has its hard limits.
To be clear, Harvard is hardly alone. Myriad institutions have decided white people don’t mix well with others:
Given Harvard’s shade-specific shindig, some might suggest the school is opposed to resplendent race relations. Its website aptly obliterates that idea:
In 1981, the president and deans of Harvard University established the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations with the mandate to “improve relations among racial and ethnic groups within the University and to enhance the quality of our common life.” In pursuit of this mission, the Foundation seeks to involve students of all racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds in the ongoing programmatic enterprises of the College and University and to highlight the cultural contributions of all Harvard students. The Foundation sponsors annual programs and activities that are designed to promote diversity and inclusion in the interest of interracial, intercultural and inter-religious understanding and harmony in the Harvard community.
Beyond race, Harvard is nothing if not devoted to progress:
In 1982 — one year after the launch of the school’s Race Relations initiative — America embraced the pop-song sensation known as “Ebony and Ivory.” At the time, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder asserted black and white people should live “side by side” — like the keys on every piano. If the instrument was invented today, perhaps there’d be two different color-based editions.
Back to the BIPOC Party, those attending such soirees are arguably being primed for disappointment: Their classes will still include Caucasians. Maybe separate courses are next.
Actually, it’s more than a maybe:
Like all things, education is evolving…
American University Creates Black-Only Version of Required Course on ‘Anti-Blackness’https://t.co/hXllWozz6M
— Alex Parker (@alexparker1984) August 27, 2021
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