In response to the unceasing institutional racism they’ve experienced as black students at Harvard (i.e. an article entitled “Affirmative Dissatisfaction,” where a white author voiced concern about the linkage between desert, race, and admission to elite universities), a group of disgruntled students have banded together to spread the word on an issue that continues to be ignored in a project called "I, Too, Am Harvard."
“Our voices often go unheard on this campus, our experiences are devalued, our presence is questioned. This project is our way of speaking back, of claiming this campus, of standing up to say: We are here,” reads the project's description.
"I, Too, Am Harvard" was organized by sophomore Kimiko Matsuda-Lawrence, an active member of Harvard’s oldest black organization. She interviewed 40 students during an independent study last semester and drew on that material to pen the play “I, Too, Am Harvard,” which premiers March 7. Matsuda-Lawrence and her team have also launched a Tumblr called “I, Too, Am Harvard,” which has received thousands of hits since debuting last Saturday. The blog features black students holding up signs featuring racially-charged remarks that have been hurled their way.
The “I, Too, Am Harvard” team has since been contacted by black students at other universities who have also experienced similar racial oppression. “We’re part of a nationwide movement of black student activism,” says Matsuda-Lawrence. “We haven’t started this, but we’re hoping we can add to the movement and speak up against racism on college campuses.”
The goal of the project on Harvard’s campus is to alert the administration to the ongoing issues of race and to see those issues addressed. “The project has helped us realize that we’re not alone” said Matsuda-Lawrence.