Harvard President Claudine Gay launched task force to decrease visibility of white men on campus

As reported by Christopher Rufo, the initiative was designed to address the homogeneity in campus imagery, particularly focusing on areas dominated by portraits of white men.

Harvard President Claudine Gay launched task force to decrease visibility of white men on campus
AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein
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Harvard University President Claudine Gay set up a task force in response to the broader societal calls for racial justice, especially following the death of George Floyd.

This task force's mission was to promote a more inclusive visual representation by reducing the visibility of white men within the university's spaces. As reported by Christopher Rufo, the initiative was designed to address the homogeneity in campus imagery, particularly focusing on areas dominated by portraits of white men.

“Harvard’s Claudine Gay led a task force to reduce the visual presence of ‘white men’ in campus spaces—simply for being white men. They committed no crimes; they were not deemed ‘racist.’ Their ancestry and anatomy were enough to justify their banishment,” Rufo wrote.

One of the primary areas of focus is Annenberg Hall, where the majority of the 23 portraits displayed are of white men, with none featuring women. The task force's recommendations are to diversify these visual representations, emphasizing the importance of reflecting a broader range of identities and accomplishments within the university's community.

President Gay's reported actions come amidst increased scrutiny of her leadership, especially following her congressional testimony, where she was questioned about her handling of anti-Semitic protests on campus.

Despite facing criticism and calls for resignation, including issues raised regarding her dissertation, Harvard's governing board has expressed steadfast support for her leadership. Eleven members of the Harvard Corporation publicly reaffirmed their confidence in President Gay, emphasizing her role in guiding the university community through current societal challenges and fostering healing and understanding.

“As members of the Harvard Corporation, we today reaffirm our support for President Gay’s continued leadership of Harvard University,” eleven of the board’s twelve members (Gay is the twelfth) stated. “Our extensive deliberations affirm our confidence that President Gay is the right leader to help our community heal and to address the very serious societal issues we are facing.”

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