Part of the work of the Initiative on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery is to develop resources to help all members of our community learn about this history and engage with the important work that lies ahead.
The initiative’s first phase, which began in December 2019 and concluded in April 2022 with the release of the Report of the Presidential Committee on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery, was an effort to uncover Harvard's past—the University’s links to slavery. With the report's release, we turn our focus to the critical work of remedy, and we invite all members of our community to engage.
A faciltiation guide accompanies the initiative's film introducing the report's historical findings, and a case study by Orelia Jonathan, Caroline Tucker, and Meira Levinson, is offered as a tool for faculty, staff, students, alumni, and others interested in considering the process of reckoning and repair. More will come in the weeks ahead.
For members of our community seeking support for mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being, we offer a link to Community Care Resources.
Normative Case Study: A Forced Reckoning
A Forced Reckoning, by Orelia Jonathan, Caroline Tucker, and Meira Levinson, explores the challenges of engaging students in learning about Harvard’s ties to the institution of slavery. It is a tool for faculty, staff, students, alumni, and others interested in considering the questions: What responsibility does the University have to teach this history, and what are our personal responsibilities to learn? How might different approaches to teaching this history promote versus impeding equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging on campus?
The authors also co-taught a Spring 2022 course that supported Harvard students in researching and writing additional narrative case studies. These materials will be made available on this site as they are finalized in Summer and Fall 2022.
Guided by the recommendations put forward by the Presidential Committee on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery in April 2022, the Office of the Vice Provost of Special Projects leads the work of reckoning with Harvard’s legacy and to repairing inequities caused by slavery.