As concerned stakeholders, we plan to do everything that is legally possible to encourage the Board of Trustees to reverse its decision
to eliminate the affiliate trustee positions.
OPEN LETTER TO THE HOWARD UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY
DON’T SILENCE OUR VOICES!
Fifty years ago, Howard University students shut down the university with a historic protest that launched an era of shared governance at Howard. The university’s Board of Trustees now wants to turn back the clock by abolishing the student, alumni and faculty seats on the Board—effectively silencing the voices and votes of these key stakeholders.
The board’s ill-advised decision is an affront to Howard’s long, hard-fought legacy of shared governance. Howard Alumni United is mobilizing concerned alumni to ensure that the voices of students, alumni and faculty continue to matter at Howard University, and that the vote of Affiliate Trustees is restored.
Howard’s reputation as one of the world’s most esteemed universities is built, in large part, on its inclusive, democratic approach to governing. The elimination of the Affiliate Trustee seats will result in a significant diminution of student, alumni and faculty input in key decisions, stymie the progress that Howard has made under a rubric that respects and values all stakeholders, and relegate stakeholders to “listening sessions” with zero decision-making role.
As recently as last year, the university voiced support for the principle of shared governance and the participation and deliberation of all constituents in the development of university policy.
Given the significance of shared governance and its extraordinary history at Howard, Howard Alumni United is urging the Board of Trustees to immediately restore the Affiliate Trustee seats—and not practice the same voter suppression that is being employed throughout the country against persons of color.
~ HOWARD ALUMNI UNITED
This video presentation by Professor Timothy Jenkins is timeless.
You will feel a renewed energy and a strengthened commitment to our righteous struggle after watching this video.
Together, we endeavor to defend the dignity of alumni, students, and faculty and to put Howard University back on a path consistent with its mission and legacy.
Shared governance is a source of Howard’s strength. As one of the world’s most highly regarded and prestigious institutions of higher learning, Howard must not lose this tenant upon which its strength is based.
Now, more than ever, it is time for the alumni of Howard University to form an independent alumni organization
free from the administrative and financial restrictions of the university.
The video below includes excerpts from past protests and reminds us that We Are Worth Fighting For*, a termed coined by April R. Silver, one of the leaders of the Howard University 1989 protest.
*We Are Worth Fighting For: A History of the Howard University Student Protest of 1989 (NYU Press) is by Dr. Joshua Myers, an Associate Professor of Africana Studies in the Department of Afro-American Studies at Howard University. He is also the author of Cedric Robinson: The Time of the Black Radical Tradition. In addition to serving on the board of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations and the editorial board of The Compass: Journal of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations, he works with the DC area collectives, Positive Black Folks in Action and the DC Black Power Chronicles. His research interests include Africana intellectual histories and traditions, Africana philosophy, critical university studies, and disciplinarity. His work has been published in Critical Ethnic Studies Journal, The Journal of African American Studies,The Journal of Pan African Studies, The African Journal of Rhetoric, The Human Rights and Globalization Law Review, Liberator Magazine, and Pambazuka, among other literary spaces. Dr. Myers is a part of the “Black radical love” tradition at Howard University. Meaning, one can be deeply entrenched at Howard University and not turn out to be an assimilationist. He edits A Gathering Together and is on Twitter (@ddhewty). His website is joshmmyers.com.