VOTE By May 18

for Candidates Endorsed by 

Coalition for a Diverse Harvard and 11 Alumni Organizations 

for Harvard Overseers and Elected Directors

 

Click here to JOIN THE COALITION

The need to elect Harvard leaders who will work collectively for diversity and racial justice – both with each other and with us – is urgent. With that in mind, the Coalition for a Diverse Harvard urges you to VOTE for the extraordinary candidates below when your online ballot arrives on April 1. We need them in our fight for Ethnic Studies; for the hiring, and retention of faculty of color; and for the creation of a campus welcoming to all students. 

We are joined in our endorsements by: First Generation Harvard AlumniHarvard Alumni for Black Advancement, Harvard Arab Alumni Association, Harvard Asian American Alumni AllianceHarvard Black Alumni SocietyHarvard Gender & Sexuality CaucusHarvard Latino Alumni AllianceHarvard Progressive Jewish AlumniHarvard South Asian Alumni AllianceHarvard Tamil Sangam Alumni, and Harvard University Muslim Alumni.

 

The Overseer candidates we endorse are: 

 

  • Raymond Lohier Jr., a federal appellate judge in the Second Circuit who is dedicated to equal justice for all
     

  • María Teresa Kumar, the co-founder/CEO of Voto Latino which works to educate and empower a new generation of Latinx voters
     

  • Sheryl WuDunn, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, and consultant focusing on the inequality gap
     

  • Mark Carney, the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance who is sounding the alarm about inequality and profit-driven decision-making, and
     

  • Yvette Efevbera, a Harvard Forward candidate who is a global health and equity expert.

 

These candidates have the strongest histories of advocacy and accomplishments on diversity initiatives and are best positioned to help Harvard be a more diverse, inclusive, and just institution. We endorse them enthusiastically:

For Overseer (in ballot order):

Raymond Lohier Jr.  AB ‘88 

María Teresa Kumar* MPP ‘01

Sheryl WuDunn* MBA ‘86

Mark Carney*  AB ‘87

Yvette Efevbera* SM ’11, SD ‘18

For Director (in ballot order):

Maiya Williams Verrone* AB ’84

Hannah Park* AB ’13

Jane Labanowski*  AB ’17

Tenzin Priyadarshi ​​​​​​M.T.S. ’03

George Abraham Thampy AB ’10

Whitney S.F. Baxter* AB ’07, M.B.A. ’11

 

* Coalition for a Diverse Harvard Members

Our Endorsed Overseer Candidates (in ballot order)

 

Raymond Lohier Jr. AB ‘88 

The first Haitian American federal appellate judge, Ray Lohier sits on the highly influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, where he is dedicated to equal justice for all.

 

Judge Lohier previously served in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, combating employment discrimination nationwide, and chaired the Judicial Conference Committee on Defender Services, which seeks to ensure the right to counsel for all federal defendants who cannot afford an attorney. At the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, he supervised securities fraud cases, including the prosecution of Bernard Madoff, and received the department’s highest honor for attorneys. 

 

“Harvard must be at the forefront of research, teaching, and discussion to address socio-economic and racial injustice and inequality (including unequal access to education), as well as sustainability and climate change,” he states. In addition, as the parent of a Harvard student concentrating in part in African and African-American Studies, “I’ve long supported programs that focus on different, historically and academically marginalized groups and their many contributions to society.”

María Teresa Kumar MPP ‘01

María Teresa Kumar is the co-founder and CEO of Voto Latino, a grassroots political organization focused on educating and empowering a new generation of Latinx voters. Voto Latino has registered a half-million new voters in the past several years and developed voter outreach tools. Ms. Kumar appears regularly on Meet the Press and MSNBC, is on the boards of EMILY’s List and the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers, and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

 

The most important challenge facing Harvard is “diversifying the faculty and student body to represent the country we live in,” Ms. Kumar, a first-generation immigrant college student, told Harvard Magazine. She supports divesting from fossil fuels and the prison industrial complex, including divestment from for-profit immigrant detention facilities.

 

“Harvard can set the standard, be bold and lead by setting requirements for a student body, a faculty, administration and an investment portfolio that reflects who we are as a country and the bets that need to be made to address the climate crisis and curb humanitarian abuses.”

Sheryl WuDunn MBA ‘86

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and business consultant, Sheryl WuDunn believes that among the most important challenges facing Harvard are “increasing racial and economic diversity on campus” and “enhancing the university’s role in addressing climate change and major social issues.”

 

Ms. WuDunn and her husband Nicholas Kristof won a Pulitzer for International Reporting, making her the first Asian American to win a Pulitzer Prize. For The New York Times, she covered the Tiananmen pro-democracy movement and subsequent massacre, a coup in the Philippines, a hijacking and a sarin gas attack in Japan, and Myanmar’s democracy movement, winning an Overseas Press Club award. In her response to our Diversity Questionnaire, Ms.WuDunn wrote that she is “a longtime supporter of affirmative action and race-conscious admissions.” She has also called gender inequity the “central moral challenge of this century.”

 

Ms. WuDunn explains that it is critical to the United States “for education to be part of the engine of social and economic mobility.” As a past member of the Boards of Trustees at Cornell and Princeton Universities, she worked to bring ethnic studies courses to those schools.

Mark Carney AB ‘87

Mark Carney is the UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance and former governor of the Banks of England and Canada. 

 

Dr. Carney made diversity a central pillar of his leadership at the Bank of England and emphasizes “the sustained and determined change” required for meaningful progress. His accomplishments included building pipelines for minority recruitment; calling out pay gaps; elevating female and BIPOC representation in senior management; launching LGBTQ+ affinity groups; and instituting implicit-bias training. 

 

He would bring a similar focus to Harvard where, despite progress, “students of color still feel Harvard does not value fully their history … and fails to retain professors who support them.” A strong proponent of a “fully fledged, well-resourced” Ethnic Studies Department, he argues that tenure decisions must value the work of mentoring and supporting students. 

 

Dr. Carney has now dedicated his professional life to fighting climate change, forcefully advocating for divestment from “any company in any sector on the wrong side of climate history.” He declares “Harvard should lead, not follow” on this issue and underscores “two essential values: sustainability and solidarity.” More broadly, he has been sounding the alarm about growing inequality and over-reliance on profit-driven decision-making.

Yvette Efevbera SM ’11, SD ‘18

Yvette Efevbera is a global health and equity expert at the Gates Foundation and a Harvard Forward candidate. She vigorously championed racial justice reforms during her 7 years as a Harvard graduate student, Cabot House Resident Tutor, Teaching Fellow, and Senior Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Fellow at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, where she led the design and implementation of the University’s first anonymous bias-related incident reporting system that enabled 4,000 students, faculty, and staff to report discrimination. Dr. Efevbera is a member of HSPH’s Black Alumni Engagement working group and the Harvard Black Alumni Society.

 

Dr. Efevbera advocates for Harvard to:

 

  • Maintain admissions practices that consider a range of criteria and assets, including academic achievement, leadership, cultural experiences, and/or socioeconomic background.

  • Establish pipeline programs to ensure the strength of candidates from underrepresented backgrounds.

  • Recruit, hire, and retain diverse faculty and staff, especially among Black, Indigenous, and people of color, who support students of different backgrounds and ensure their success.

  • Address training and reformation of the Harvard University Police Department to ensure safety of all community members, regardless of race.

  • Systemically collect and report quantitative and qualitative data, including demographics, across student and faculty recruitment, retention, success, and community member experiences.

----------------------------

NOTE:  To select our endorsed candidates, our Candidate Review Committee (Jane Sujen Bock '81, Margaret M. Chin '84, Laura Dumbach '84, Kristin R. Penner '89, Brad Riew ‘18, Tab Timothy Stewart '88, David Van Taylor '83, Rachel B. Tiven '96, Isamar Vega '13, EdM '19, and Michael Williams '81) spent 6 weeks researching each candidate, reviewing their responses to our Diversity Questionnaire* and to a Harvard magazine questionnaire, and then individually interviewing by video all 11 Overseer candidates. Examining the candidates' experiences advancing racial justice and equity issues in their professional and academic lives, the Committee then met 3 times to reach our endorsements. We gave equal consideration to all candidates – whether on the ballot by HAA nomination or by petition. Please note that we selected the same number of candidates as there are available seats to maximize the electoral impact of our endorsement. 

The Candidate Review Committee of Diverse Harvard found that all the candidates have made stellar contributions to their communities and professions. 

Harvard will email alumni a unique link to an online ballot on April 1. Paper ballots will also be mailed by then. Online votes must be cast by 5:00 PM (ET) on May 18, and paper ballots must be received back in Cambridge by the same time. For ballot questions, contact Election Services Co. help desk toll-free at 1-866-720-4357 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm ET) or email harvard@electionservicescorp.com.  Please email Diverse Harvard at HarvardCoalition@gmail.com with any problems.  

Please VOTE online starting 4/1 (it’s easy) or by mail. Completed ballots must be received by 5 pm on May 18. Another strong showing by the Coalition will help us in our efforts to promote Ethnic Studies, race-conscious holistic admissions, faculty of color, and other issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. (To date, 40 of 48 candidates that we have endorsed over the past 5 years have been elected.)

Please reach out to your Harvard alum friends and share via Twitter and Facebook, especially on your class groups or pages!

Thank you and be well,

Jane, Margaret, Jeannie, Kristin & Michael

 

Jane Sujen Bock, Margaret M. Chin, Jeannie Park, Kristin R. Penner & Michael Williams

Directors, Coalition for a Diverse Harvard

 ____________

*ORGANIZATIONS SPONSORING THE DIVERSITY QUESTIONNAIRE

Coalition for a Diverse Harvard

First Generation Harvard Alumni

Harvard Arab Alumni Association

Harvard Asian American Alumni Alliance

Harvard Black Alumni Society

Harvard Gender & Sexuality Caucus

Harvard Latino Alumni Alliance

Harvard Progressive Jewish Alumni

Harvard South Asian Alumni Alliance

Harvard Tamil Sangam Alumni

Harvard University Muslim Alumni

Harvard Women of Color

Native American Alumni of Harvard University

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