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Sunday, December 04, 2005

Another sad showing

I just came back from the Keynote Presentation of the Boston Area Darfur Activism Conference in Science Center B and, as is often the case, the showing of student support was pretty disappointing. Despite being co-sponsored by Kuumba, Hillel, HASA, BSA, BMF, ABHW, Harvard Friends of Amnesty International, and HIDO and being endorsed by Harvard Graduate Council, Education School Council, Graduate School of Arts & Science Council, Medical School Council, Harvard Human Rights Journal, and HLS Advocates for Human Rights at most 60 PEOPLE were in attendance at the Keynote Presentation. Those who attended were treated to a moving speech by Brian Steidle, a former U.S. Marine and African Union (AU) employee who now goes around the country advocating for Darfur and spreading personal stories about his experiences there along with graphic pictures of burned villages, Janjaweed soldiers, and castrated civilians. It's sad that more students seemed to come from Brandeis and Tufts--Waltham and Medford, Massachusetts, respectively--than the Quad, Yard, or River. Also, the Black student showing was further evidence of apathy or the non-salience of this issue to many Blacks at Harvard despite our supposed "community leaders" supporting the conference. Obviously, supporting it with words is much more important than supporting it with action, I suppose.


At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Dan Koh said...

I think that it is ridiculous that with all the UC shananigans going around that nobody even commented on this article. I'd love engage in a discussion about why we think this happens...why do we not show up to things like this, even when they are co-sponsored by so many organizations? I think this is a testament to a bigger problem at Harvard. It's just such a shame this occurs and I think it's worth having a discussion about. thoughts?

At 12:13 AM, Blogger O said...

So true slugger. I shoulda been there. although I had a valid excuse (strep throat and 102 fever) I'm not 100% sure that if I was completely well I would be there. But I and everyone else that pretends to care about Africa and Black folks, and humanity should know what's going on in Darfur and support events that raise awareness-even if you alreaady think you know. Thanks for the call-out-keep em' coming!


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