A Year in Review 2006
“Summers To Step Down, Ending Tumult at Harvard” kicked off the year as one of the most talked about news stories in higher education. But only a few months later, an event involving another elite institution would grab even more headlines, and with more serious ramifications. Three Duke University men’s lacrosse players were indicted on rape charges. The alleged rape would raise issues of race, gender and class, as the accuser was an African-American female student at historically Black North Carolina Central University, also located in Durham.
And students across the country came together to pressure their university administrations to divest from companies conducting business in the African nation of Sudan, where an estimated 2 million people have been displaced and between 200,000 and 400,000 have died in what has been called state-sponsored genocide. More than 100 students participated in a “Solidarity Die-In” in March at the University of California, Los Angeles. The protests conjured up memories of college students in the 1980s, who called on their college administrations to divest from companies that did business in South Africa, as means of protesting that country’s apartheid government.
Protests continued right up to December for another cause, as many students demonstrated outside of the U.S. Supreme Court as it heard arguments on lawsuits by parents in Louisville, Ky., and Seattle who are challenging policies that use race to help determine where children go to school.
And many more newsworthy events occurred: Tennessee’s decade’s long desegregation case came to a close, with all parties in agreement that the state had finally eliminated all vestiges of racial segregation in its higher education system.
Columbia University hired Norries Wilson as its head football coach, making him the first Black head football coach at an Ivy League institution.
And just last month, many notables gathered in Washington for the groundbreaking of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial, which will have a location on the National Mall.
Our “Year in Review” would not be complete if we didn’t remember the people we lost throughout the year — Coretta Scott King, Gordon Parks, Ed Bradley, Dr. Nellie McKay, Dr. Clinton Bristow — just to name a few.
Though not an exhaustive list, the following pages include additional significant events that occurred throughout the year.
Duke Lacrosse Rape Claim Spurs Outrage | Summers To Step Down, Ending Tumult at Harvard | Tennessee Ends Historic Civil Rights Lawsuit | Clark Atlanta Engineering Professors Sue University Over Department’s Closure | Southern Illinois University Opens Minority Fellowships to All Students | Bush Signs Bill Awarding Tuskegee Airmen Congressional Gold Medal | Morris Brown’s Ex-president Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement | CUNY Retention Program for Black Males Under Fire | Virginia Tech to Reward Faculty for Diversity Efforts | Brown University Atones for Ties To Slavery | Texas Southern Regents Vote to Fire President | Upward Bound Changes Called ‘Ethically Immoral’ | Claflin University Launches Think Tank to Focus on Southern Black History | Michigan Voters Ban Affirmative Action | Harvard’s Civil Rights Project Moves to UCLA
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