The Strike of 1969, Protest at Harvard, and Organizing Today


Friday, April 12, 2019, 1:00pm to 7:30pm


Science Hall E, Harvard Science Center, 1 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA 02138

This April marks the 50th Anniversary of the Harvard Strike of 1969. Not only was that spring a defining moment for the movement to end the War in Vietnam and for the University, it was a life-changing set of events for the people who participated. 50 years later, today’s activists and organizers are working at another pivotal moment, presenting an opportunity for the two groups to learn from each other.

Join Marshall Ganz, Harvard Kennedy School Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, and Miles Rapoport, Ash Center Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy, for an inter-generational discussion with student leaders and organizers at Harvard today about activism then and now.

Following the discussion, we encourage attendees to continue the conversation during a reception in the Archive Gallery from 5:00 - 7:30 pm in the Nathan Pusey Library. Pusey Library is located in Harvard Yard next to the Widener library. 

This event is open to the public. RSVPs are not required, but seating is first come, first served. Questions? Email Miles Rapoport at

 Event Agenda 

1:00 PM  Welcome and Framing Remarks

  • Archon Fung, Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professor of Citizenship and Self-Government, HKS 
  • Marshall Ganz, Rita E. Hauser Senior Lecturer in Leadership, Organizing, and Civil Society, HKS

1:30 PM  The 1969 Harvard Strike and Organizing Today:  An Intergenerational Conversation on Perspectives, Lessons, and Work to be Done

  • Salma Abdelrahman ’20; VP, Phillips Brooks House; Core Organizer, Harvard Prison Divestment Campaign       
  • Judith K. Baker, Literacy Advisor, African Storybook Initiative, Johannesburg; former Boston public school teacher, Strike participant
  • Aaron Bekemeyer, PhD candidate in Harvard History Department; member, Harvard Graduate Student Union—UAW
  • John Berg, Professor of Government Emeritus, Suffolk University, Strike participant
  • Isa Flores ’19; Coordinator, Divest Harvard; Harvard Undergraduates for Environmental Justice
  • Robert Hall; Professor, Northeastern University; Harvard Afro; Strike participant 
  • Michael Kazin, Professor of History, Georgetown University; co-editor, Dissent; Author, American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation             
  • Suzanne Lynn; General Counsel, Department of Citywide Administrative Services, New York City; Harvard Afro; Strike participant
  • Diego Navarrete, Act on a DREAM
  • Amanda Powers, Coordinator, SLAM (Student Labor Action Movement)            
  • Naomi Schapiro, Professor of Clinical Family Health Care Nursing, UCSF; Nurse Practitioner in high school health center

3:00 PM  Break into Intergenerational Discussion Groups
Each discussion group will be co-led by a strike participant and a student activist

4:30 PM  Closing Session
Comments from group participants

  • Arielle Blacklow ’21; Co-President, Harvard Undergraduates for Environmental Justice; Divest Harvard organizer
  • Miles Rapoport, Senior Fellow in American Democracy, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation  

5:00 PM  Evening Reception: “Through Change and Through Storm:  Harvard, 1969” Exhibit 

  • Megan Sniffin-Marinoff, Exhibit Curator
  • Jay Cantor; Professor of English, Tufts University; creator of Harvard Strike manifesto/poem/poster