Sticking with its woke policies despite the outrage surrounding the former President Claudine Gay situation, Harvard has decided to host an event to help students grieve over her ouster. Specifically, the Harvard Divinity School’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging hosted a “Gathering to Breathe and Heal” event on Thursday, February 1, to help students grieve the resignation of the disgraced president.
As background, former President Gay was disgraced and forced to resign from her position in January of 2024 when serious allegations of plagiarism surfaced. Spearheaded by anti-DEI activist Christopher Rufo, activists and outraged Harvard alumni such as Bill Ackman called her out for what appeared to be numerous instances of plagiarism in her academic works.
But now that she has resigned, Harvard Divinity School’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging decided to mourn her. Announcing the February 1 event, the posting for the event said, “Join the HDS Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging for our monthly Gathering to Breathe and Heal circle. This is a space to gather to breathe and to heal, to grieve, and to share the heaviness of what we’re holding with others. This is not a space for debate; rather, it is a container for holding emotions in community knowing that the circle holds us all.”
It continued, “Whether we agree or disagree, it is a space where we recognize each other’s humanity and practice the work of love, which we see as essential to a path forward, especially when we do not have the answers. Each time we gather, we center anything that has happened that we need to prioritize. For this gathering, we will create space for us to discuss and process the departure of our former president, Claudine Gay.”
Concluding, it noted that there would be a plethora of administrators involved, saying, “This circle will be facilitated by Melissa Wood Bartholomew, Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, and Steph Gauchel, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging.”
Similarly, an email from the DEI office said, “Dear HDS Community, As we come back together for the start of the semester, our office feels a renewed sense of anticipation, joy, and purpose as we officially welcome our new HDS Dean, Dr. Marla Frederick. At the same time, we also enter this semester with a deep awareness of the grief so many of us are carrying on campus. This grief and loss may be connected to our personal lives; national and global unrest, harm, and violence; storms and natural disasters; or these increasing times of tension and divide on our campus and in our communities. For many of us, this grief and loss also includes the resignation of former President Claudine Gay after her short tenure. As Interim Harvard President, Alan Garber, noted in his January 8th, 2024 message to the community, ‘We have been through an extraordinarily painful and disorienting time for Harvard. Since I first arrived here as an undergraduate in 1973, I cannot recall a period of comparable tension on our campus and across our community.‘”
Continuing, the DEI office wrote, “Our office remains steadfast to our commitment to engage our work and navigate these challenging times through a restorative justice approach rooted in indigeneity and operationalized through love. Restorative justice calls us to feel our feelings and to grieve. It also calls us to center our humanity and each other’s, to lead and respond with love. There is room in the circle to hold all these feelings, and all of us, including those harmed and those who have caused harm. It is not always an easy task, but we can choose love in our response and actions to realize accountability, repair, justice, and change.”
It added, “We are so grateful – especially during this incredibly challenging time-that All About Love by bell hooks is our 2023-2024 Common Read. We hope you will join us for some of the many opportunities to be in community and conversation that we have this semester and are outlined in this newsletter. We want to highlight an upcoming opportunity for the HDS community to gather around our individual and collective grief as we begin the semester, our Gathering to Breathe and Heal on Thursday, February 1st from 1 – 2pm in the Braun Room. Please see more details below.”
Watch Claudine Gay’s disastrous congressional testimony here:
Featured image credit: By Office of the Governor of Massachusetts (Charlotte Hysen/Governor’s Press Office) – Governor Healey attends the Inauguration of Claudine Gay as the 30th President of Harvard University, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=143664740
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