OUR 2020 PLATFORM
Each Harvard Forward candidate will advocate for the Harvard Forward platform during their tenure on the Board of Overseers. In the meantime, we are developing detailed and actionable policy proposals for each of our priorities by inviting input from members of the Harvard community who are leaders in each of these areas, both on- and off-campus.
ON THE ISSUES
While the 2020 Harvard Forward platform is focused on climate action, inclusive governance, and responsible investing, there are many issues of importance to the Harvard community that arose during the course of the campaign. Many of these issues have now been incorporated into the 2021 platform. Here is how our 2020 candidates responded:
CLIMATE JUSTICE & RESPONSIBLE INVESTING
INCLUSIVE GOVERNANCE & STUDENT VOICES
Complete and swift Divestment of all University assets from fossil fuels.
More transparent and robust processes for developing Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines.
Increased support for climate-focused Research & Education Initiatives.
Reserving six seats on the Board for Recent Alumni Overseers.
Multiple yearly, open Board Town Halls that give students from all our schools a chance to be heard.
Semesterly presentations to the Board by the UC and HGC Presidents.
HARVARD GRADUATE STUDENT UNION
HARVARD PRISON DIVESTMENT CAMPAIGN
HARVARD ETHNIC STUDIES COALITION
HARVARD'S CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE
Harvard has a responsibility to look after those who make the University run with their labor. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we stand behind all Harvard workers requesting pay and benefits security and adequate workplace protections, including access to necessary protective equipment and medical testing. While Harvard has agreed to guarantee payment to its workers through May thanks in part to an online petition garnering thousands of signatures, we urge the University to extend its policy for the length of their closure.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
Our campaign for the Harvard Board of Overseers is not about any single issue as much as it is about a shared vision of how we can leverage the power and privilege of Harvard to bring about a sustainable future and a more just and equitable society.
In order to create a sustainable future, we must dismantle systems of oppression. We remember George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, Tony McDade, and other victims of white supremacy. We affirm that Black Lives Matter, and we believe that Harvard must do more to be a force for justice.
Before Harvard can truly act as a force for justice, it must stop perpetuating injustice. It must listen to the Harvard Prison Divestment Campaign and divest from the prison-industrial complex.
It must listen to Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard and divest from the industry behind the climate crisis, which most severely harms marginalized people—just as COVID-19 is most severely harming communities of color nationwide.
It must listen to and act upon the demands of the students, alumni, faculty, and staff who hold the university accountable for its past and present injustices. This means making significant systemic changes and committing to active anti-racism work as an institution.
We stand in solidarity with both the nationwide and Harvard-focused movements for racial justice. We are working to better connect with and uplift the efforts of racial justice organizers in the Harvard community. This includes working with organizers and stakeholders to bolster the Harvard Forward platform to explicitly include policy proposals for anti-racism efforts at Harvard moving forward.
While the Board of Overseers derives its name from its role in overseeing the welfare of the University, the term "overseer" cannot be separated from its historical context, which is deeply tied to the institution of slavery in the United States. As was the case with the term "house master" in the upperclassman dorms, the continued use of such a term is antithetical to Harvard's goal of creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for its diverse student and alumni bodies. That is why we wholeheartedly support the Coalition for a Diverse Harvard in their call to #RenameTheOverseers.