“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
Student activism has and continues to serve as a critical component to the development of a truly democratic society. The collections featured here are from various colleges and universities and they highlight the struggles, victories, and challenges of student movements throughout history.
Connect with these participating institutions to learn more.
REPOSITORY: Northwestern University
Collection Description: On April 22, 1968, members of Black student organizations, For Members Only (FMO) and Afro-American Student Union (AASU), presented a list of demands to the Northwestern University administration in response to discriminatory campus policies and practices and to heighten the awareness of Black student’s experiences of racial insensitivity on campus. When the demands were not met, on May 3, 1968, approximately 120 African American students occupied the Bursar’s Office, Northwestern University’s business office. After a 38-hour demonstration, Black students and the Northwestern University administration came to a resolution of developing advisory boards around the admissions process, recruitment of Black students to the University, review of financial aid packages, and open housing in Evanston, to offer equitable housing options and counseling, and to establish of the Department of African American Studies and a Black student union, today called the Black House. The bulk of the material dates specifically from the time of the strike in May 1968, but there are also later documents reflecting back or referring to it.
In the fall of 2016, Project STAND (Student Activism Now Documented) was established to initially bring together academic institutions across the state of Ohio and discuss ways to share information about the collections and materials related to student activism on their campuses, with a primary focus on marginalized student identities (African American, LGBTQ, Chicano/a, differently abled, Asian Americans, indigenous populations etc.) This exciting initiative was initially conceived by Lae’l Hughes-Watkins, University Archivist at Kent State University who reached out to Tamar Chute, University Archivist at The Ohio State University, on the possibility of creating a centralized hub for academic archives focusing on underrepresented communities’ engagement in social justice activities on and off campus.
Project STAND is an online clearinghouse where academic institutions can provide researchers a centralized access point to historical and archival documentation on the development and on-going occurrences of student dissent. Project STAND focuses on digital and analog primary sources that document the activities of student groups that represent the concerns of historically marginalized communities (e.g., African American, Chicano/a, LGBTQ, religious minorities, disabled, etc.). STAND will also highlight the work of others (e.g., faculty, staff, and administrators) who advocate for or support the interests of those communities.
More information about participating institutions can be found here.
Interested in joining Project Stand? Please submit some information about your institution’s collection.