Authored by Politics of Race and Ethnicity Co-Chairs Osaremen Okolo '17 and Jordan Alston-Harmon '17.
The Politics of Race Ethnicity program (PRE) was an initiative at its inception last semester, and it was one that revolved around the speakers and discussions that defined our weekly meetings. The first line of our mission explains the program as existing to create a space for a sustained, nuanced, welcoming, and informed discussion about the intersection of race, ethnicity, identity, and politics. We were able to do just that with the help of Former United States Senator William “Mo” Cowan, Fall 2014 IOP Fellow Anton Gunn, and Harvard Professors Bruce Western and Kay Merseth. These thoughtful and engaging experts in their fields led us in sessions devised by the initiative’s co-chairs, Osaremen Okolo and Valentina Perez—sessions that ranged from “The Impact of the Midterm Elections of People of Color,” “Mobilizing Minorities in Elections,” “Mass Incarceration,” and “Race and Education.” But though our guests were a defining aspect of the past semester, it was student input and the conversation that flowed around the table in room L166 that built passion within and for PRE.