Harvard’s Legacy of Slavery

Harvard University has pledged to spend $100 million to redress the school’s deep ties to slavery. The move comes after the school issued a 130-page report Tuesday that revealed at least 41 prominent people connected to the school owned enslaved people.

The report states, quote, “Enslaved men and women served Harvard presidents and professors and fed and cared for Harvard students. Moreover, throughout this period and well into the 19th century, the University and its donors benefited from extensive financial ties to slavery.”

Harvard’s school newspaper, the Crimson, dedicated its front page listing the names of individuals enslaved by leadership, faculty, staff and donors at Harvard University between 1636 and 1783. The Harvard Crimson wrote, “almost certainly an undercount.” The editors’ note added, quote, “For these people, we often know only their nicknames; for a few, we know only their race and gender. This is the result of the systemic erasure that to this day continues to deny enslaved people their histories,” The Harvard Crimson said.

— source democracynow.org | Apr 28, 2022

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More than 200,000 children have been infected with COVID-19 in US

Hundreds of thousands of children are being infected with COVID-19 every week in the United States, driven by the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant and the reopening of schools to in-person learning throughout the country. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), as of the week ending September 23, 2021, over 5.7 million children in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. The number of pediatric cases exceeded 200,000 for the fifth consecutive week.

— source wsws.org | 28 Sep 2021

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The situation in primary schools is alarming in Germany

Following the opening up of schools across Germany and a subsequent surge in infections, the Network of Action Committees for Safe Education met on Thursday. Its online audience included students, teachers, parents and child care workers. Despite the explosive increase in the number of cases among children and young people due to the policy of opening up schools, even basic protection measures were being dismantled. in Germany this would be equivalent to almost 70 children in intensive care units. The number of hospital admissions of children have risen to record levels after opening up schools in US. Despite vaccinations, over 2,000 people die every day. A series of spontaneous protests have broken out against this opening policy.

— source wsws.org | 19 Sep 2021

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Georgian college faculty protest over absence of mask and COVID-19 vaccine mandates

College faculty at over a dozen campuses in Georgia started a week-long, daily protest yesterday to demonstrate opposition against the University System of Georgia’s (USG) COVID-19 policies, which are forcing professors, adjuncts and graduate students to lecture in-person and to teach in schools that have no masks or vaccine mandates. The protest in Georgia is an expression of burgeoning anger nationwide over the return to in-person instruction as the Delta variant of the virus is fueling a rise in deaths and hospitalizations. The protests this week in Georgia follow a string of demonstrations that have sprung up in recent days among educators against the back-to-school campaign being promoted in K-12 and higher education, leading to scores of youth dying or becoming severely ill.

— source wsws.org | 13 Sep 2021

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Texas School District Cancels Classes After 2 Teachers Die of COVID-19

In Arizona, more than 1,000 healthcare workers have signed an open letter to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, pleading with them to mandate masks in K-12 schools. This week, schools in and around Phoenix reported 227 active outbreaks, with nearly 1,700 students and 450 school employees infected.

In Central Texas, the Connally Independent School District near Waco has canceled classes after two teachers died of COVID-19 in the same week. Sixth-grade social studies teacher Natalia Chansler was just 41 years old. She died Saturday just days after her colleague, 59-year-old Andy McCormick, succumbed to the disease. Their school does not require that students or teachers wear masks.

— source democracynow.org | Sep 02, 2021

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Harvard University of ‘spiritual bankruptcy’

Author, activist and scholar Cornel West has resigned from his role as professor at Harvard University, accusing the institution of “an intellectual and spiritual bankruptcy of deep depths”. West writes that his faculty supported him as a candidate for tenure, but went on to “timidly defer to a rejection based on the Harvard administration’s hostility to the Palestinian cause”, describing this as “disgusting” and lambasting Harvard for “an intellectual and spiritual bankruptcy of deep depths”. West had told the New York Times in March of his belief that the reluctance to grant him tenure could have been linked to his support for the Palestinian cause. Harvard declined to comment on the situation.

— source theguardian.com | 16 Jul 2021

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Classes Used Bones of Black Children Killed in 1985 MOVE Police Bombing

Outrage is growing in Philadelphia after explosive revelations that the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University have been in possession of remains thought to belong to two children who were among 11 people killed in the 1985 police bombing of the Philadelphia home of the radical, Black liberation and anti-police-brutality group MOVE. We show an excerpt of a training video — now removed from the internet — by an anthropologist at the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University who has been using the bones of at least one of the young bombing victims for the past 36 years — without the knowledge or consent of the families — and get response from a MOVE family member. “It makes you wonder: What else do they have?” says Mike Africa Jr., a second-generation MOVE member who grew up with the children whose remains have now been located. “What else are they covering up? What else are they lying about?”

— source democracynow.org | Apr 27, 2021

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University of California installs secret spyware system

Over the last few months, reports have revealed that the University of California (UC) Board of Regents, presided over by ex-chief of Homeland Security and former Democratic Governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano, has sanctioned a secret spyware system capable of monitoring and collecting data from all individuals within the networks of the ten UC campuses and five medical centers throughout California. The spyware system has been installed in complete secrecy, without the knowledge or consent of students, faculty, and staff.

— source wsws.org | 2016

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UC Davis spent thousands to scrub pepper-spray references from Internet

UC Davis contracted with consultants for at least $175,000 to scrub the Internet of negative online postings following the November 2011 pepper-spraying of students and to improve the reputations of both the university and Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, newly released documents show. The payments were made as the university was trying to boost its image online and were among several contracts issued following the pepper-spray incident. Figures released by UC Davis show the strategic communications budget increased from $2.93 million in 2009 to $5.47 million in 2015.

— source sacbee.com | 2016

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Harvard’s half-billion land stake in Brazil marred by conflict and abuse

After the 2008 economic crisis, Harvard University, one of the most respected educational institutions in the world, sought to reallocate its endowment funds to safer assets. It invested more than $1 billion in land in Brazil, Africa, Oceania, Eastern Europe and the United States.

But a recent report shows that in Brazil, which accounts for almost half of Harvard’s total investment, at $450 million, most of the endowment’s acquired enterprises are territories occupied by land-grabbers in conflict with traditional communities and slave-descended quilombos in the Cerrado grasslands. The report, by GRAIN, a nonprofit that advocates for small farmers, and Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos, a social justice NGO, also links these lands to incidents of deforestation and death threats.

— source news.mongabay.com | Maurício Angelo | 19 Aug 2020

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