The plural of “privilege’’ is “establishment,” and Harvard University is the greatest example on American soil — the richest private university on earth, and one that’s proven too hidebound and intellectually dishonest to grapple with the climate crisis now overwhelming the planet.
In response, fed-up alumni are finally going to do their best to effect at least a minor revolution in how things happen in the ivied Harvard Yard: This week marks the start of a campaign to elect a slate of dissident members to the Harvard’s Board of Overseers, all of them young and all of them committed to change.
The Harvard Forward campaign wants more recent university graduates on the board, reasoning that the worldview of aging hedge fund executives may be currently more powerful than is healthy. Their diverse slate of candidates includes Midge Purce, who plays professional soccer, Thea Sebastian, a civil rights attorney, and Jayson Toweh, an EPA analyst. Beyond their Harvard pedigrees, what they have in common is, as the group’s manifesto puts it, a commitment to “complete and swift divestment of all university assets from fossil fuels.”