John Wilson: Is Harvard the right place for you?

John Wilson: Is Harvard the right place for you?


SARA BLEICH: And I
suspect that there are a lot of Black and Brown
people either in the US or around the world
that are listening to you speak that ask
themselves, is Harvard the right place for me? And what’s your message to them? JOHN SILVANUS WILSON
JR: My message is that Harvard is
the right place. I attended Harvard. I have a daughter who came
out of here, undergraduate. And my son just started a
PhD program here at Harvard. If I didn’t think it
was the right place, I don’t think I’d let my kids
or I would urge them not to. It’s the right place. And it’s the right
place particularly because of what’s going on
right now, this movement we have right now. Larry Bacow is the
right president. And I have to tell you,
I think this investment in inclusion and belonging
is the right investment. We’re on the right
pathway to do what has not been done ever before. We’ve asked many of
our audiences so far, various groups around Harvard,
affinity groups and otherwise. We’ve said, you know, who should
Harvard be like in this regard? Who is working with
your constituency– whether it’s women, Latinx,
conservatives, other, all kinds of groups that
we’re dealing with– who is, which college or
university has it right? And they all say none. There are best practices around. Stanford is doing
some things better than we are and for first
gens and various audiences. Our job right now is to
converge the best practices and to become the model
for everybody else. Now, Harvard wants to be number
one in everything we try to do. Why not this too? I believe this is the
place and this is the time. So those Black and Brown
people and white– whatever, whoever you are, Harvard
is is a magnet for you. And we’re going to get
better and better and better. And I’m confident about that.

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