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Posted under: Race & Identity News

Harvard Will Have Four Amazing Black Women Leading Its Schools, A First For The University

Progress is slowly being made.

Four black women will make history serving as deans to some of Harvard's prestigious schools. 

It has been several years in the making, but now there is real progress.

According to the Harvard Crimson, Dr. Claudine Gay will be the new dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences; professors Tomiko Brown-Nagin and Bridget Terry-Long are deans of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the Graduate School of Education, respectively; and Michelle A. Williams is the first woman to serve as dean of the School of Public Health.

“If my presence in this role affirms someone's sense of belonging and ownership, the same way Drew's appointment affirmed my own sense of belonging, then I think that's great,” Gay said. “And for people who are sort of beyond our gates, if this prompts them to look again and look anew at Harvard and imagine new possibilities for themselves, I think that's great, as well.”

Over the years, the school has dealt with diversity issues and controversies over the university's ties to slavery, according to The New York Times. Having four black women in charge of schools will be a step in the right direction.  

“In all those contexts, I have managed to avoid being reduced to my ascribed race or gender. That said, I’ve been gratified by the congratulations that I’ve received from people from all walks of life, men and women, seasoned professionals and students,” Brown-Nagin wrote.


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