Brown timeline, 1960-2000

May, 1963 – the Northern Student Movement conducts a fund drive in the Faunce post office, seeking buttons with “SNCC” on them, to support voter registration drives in the deep South

December 12, 1963 – James Farmer of the Congress of Racial Equality speaks to the Brown campus about civil rights

April 16, 1964 – Freedom Singers perform in Sayles Hall to raise money for the SNCC

May 1964 – Brown-Tougaloo Cooperative Exchange initiated, funded in part by the Ford Foundation

1967 – Afro-American Society is founded; Alumni of Color Network founded.

September 16, 1968 – The BDH asks if 1968 is “The Year of the Black?,” and discusses new courses and programs for Black students, which are intended to increase their voice on campus and meet the needs of students more generally

October 28th – Andrew Young of the SCLC speaks to the campus, urging new tactics and new approaches to resolve “the race problem”

December 3rd – 23 Pembroke students warn that they will walk out and “cease to be a part of Pembroke College.” This threat is the endpoint of prolonged and unsuccessful negotiations over the size of the black student population at Brown, among other issues

December 3rd BDH opinion article claims that Pembroke women were “too quick to walk out” and didn’t think through their decision. On the next day, faculty fail to collect support for the more centrist “Project Equality,” and struggle publicly to understand the Pembroke students.

December 5th– Statement of Black students published in BDH

December 6th walkout— At 12 PM, 65 black students walked to the Congden St. Baptist Church and occupied it for the day. Students gathered to hear complaints about the president for failing to listen to student demands.

December 10thBDH letter to the editor, by the chaplain of university, speaks out in support of the walkout and says Brown, like all of american society,  is racist.

1968-1969 – The University first adds courses in Black history and Black literature, and then an interdepartmental interdisciplinary concentration in Afro-American Studies approved.

1969 – New Curriculum is approved 

September 29 – One former Brown student and 7 others arrested in Panther support march in downtown Providence. 

November 13, 1969 – Coalition on Equal Opportunity demands increased opportunity for hiring of minority groups for University positions.

December 13, 1969 – After the Coalition’s proposal, the Afro-American Society boycotts classes for two days before negotiating with the University. The Faculty Policy group subsequently recommends the hiring of 12-15 black professors for the 1970-71 academic year. The Advisory and Executive Committee also passes a statement on minority hiring

1970 – Rites and Reasons Theatre established.

1970–  controversy over potential admission bias against black applicants at Pembroke

1971 –  Afro-American Studies approved as a stand-alone program, and officially housed in Churchill House.

1972- Sankore Society created for Black faculty and administrators.

1972 – Third World students protest in support of the demands of 1968

March 9, 1972– First BDH article on Rites and Reasons

March 22, 1973  Letter to the editor about racism in the BDH and their refusal to acknowledge the Rites and Reason theatre.

1973 – Minority Peer Counselor program established

1974 – Article by Matthew Wald ‘76 describing subtle and not-so-subtle segregation on campus.

1975 – Confronting budget cuts, and insisting that the demands of the 1968 protests should be met, a Third World Coalition takes over University Hall and issues new demands

April 6, 1976 – BDH reports that the university’s Affirmative Action plans have stalled, and cites a fear of minority influx as the reason

1976 – Third World Center established in basement of Churchill House. This basic TWC timeline chronic formation and key events. 

1981 – CIA Director William Casey’s speech is disrupted by a reading of “Jabberwocky.” The so-called “Jabberwocky 13” is brought to the University Council of Student Affairs, and given minimal discipline.

February 1985 – a minor fracas in the BDH about whether the desire for black students to sit at black tables at the Ratty counts as seperatism

April 3, 1985President Swearer releases a statement, indicating that racial progress has been elusive

April, 1985 – Amidst rising tensions on campus, the occupation of the John Carter Brown library and a sit-in at the Faculty Club is followed by the appointment, by President Howard Swearer, of a visiting committee to investigate the conditions of racial harmony and minority life on campus. Later, 1985 will be renowned for protests in support of minority faculty hiring, against apartheid, and against CIA and defense contractor recruitment.

April 24, 1985 – the BDH commemorates the 10 year anniversary of the ’75 takeover of University Hall

September 1985white students proclaim the Third World Transition Program ago be “separatist.” A defense of the TWTP follows

October 30, 1985 – the BDH summarizes the state of things, after the “stormy spring” of ’85.

1985 – A coalition of faculty, moved by the protests, creates a new class on American racism and democracy. American Civilization concentrators are required to take the class.

October 23, 1986Asian American students protest the differential treatment of Asian students in the admissions process, promoting President Swearer to direct the Office of Admissions to draft a new and consistent policy

1986 – Visiting Committee on Minority Life issues a report with 17 recommendations to “institutionalize racial harmony,” including a required class on diversity, special student support for the TWC and for Latino Students.

1986 – TWC moves to Partridge Hall.

1986 – Shantytown is created on the College Green by the Brown Free South African Coalition, and 3 graves are dug on the green to symbolize the end of racism. 4 students take up a hunger strike in Manning Chapel, and are disenrolled by the University.

April 22, 1986 – students arrested at the Rhode Island state house for protesting the escalation of US military involvement in Central America

1987 – Students urging divestment in South Africa disrupt a Corporation meeting

1988 – Protests lead to the establishment of Ethnic Studies and the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity

1989 – Rumors of the Ku Klux Klan’s presence on campus circulate. There are also major concerns related to police harassment of black students, and violence on and near campus. A look back in 2004 by the BDH describes it as one of the “most racially charged years in Brown’s history.”

1991– TWC Third World report, “Redefining the Concept of Community: A Framework for Pluralism in the 1990’s.” 

1992 – Second occupation of University Hall, this time by a group named Students for Admissions and Minority Aid, in support of need-blind admissions. Over 250 students are arrested during the event. 

1993 – Harambe House created

1996 – Ethnic Studies concentration is approved

2000- Affinity groups for alumni of color are created

2000 – The student GISP on “Third World Activism and Institutional Change” is approved.

2001 – African American Studies is departmentalized and renamed Africana Studies

2001BDH publishes advertisement against reparations by conservative activist David Horowitz. Students destroy the run of the paper.

May 2001 – Interim President Sheila Blumstein releases “Reflections on a Shared Vision for Diversity and Community”

July 1, 2001- Brown’s first African American president (who is also a woman!) is appointed (Ruth J. Simmons) and she becomes the first black president of an Ivy League

Article by the Brown ACLU condemning student action destroying the paper.

2002 – Brown begins need-blind admission

2003 – Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice established, including faculty, staff, and students

September 13, 2006 – Campus march against police brutality, with chants of ‘Brown is brown,” after a Black graduate student in Computer Science  is racially profiled and arrested

October 2006 – The report of the Committee on Slavery and Justice is released.

2006 – Diversity action plan released under President Simmons, set diversity goals with the help of the newly established Office of Institutional Diversity, and instructs the Provost to begin need-blind admission

February, 2007 – University releases its official response to the Slavery and Justice report

March 30, 2007 – The TWC celebrates its 30th year

September 8, 2008 – TWTP continues to be defined as “separatist,” prompting this reply by two participants and leaders

March 18, 2011 – the University releases a “follow-up” document on the Slavery & Justice report, to show what has been done since 2006

October 5, 2011 – Occupy College Hill

May 2012 – Brown Daily Herald proclaims that the Slavery and Justice report has been forgotten, or that it is “dead”