American students were not the only ones active in addressing racism
at the university. Groups like the University Committee Against Racism
also played an important role in causing change on campus.
Following the 1968 assassination
of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
a group of white students and faculty decided to discuss the reasons
why hatred had led to the murder of a compelling civil rights leader.
The group believed that the main ingredient for racial conflict was
white racism. They also believed that racism was evident in the socio-economic
issues of the Vietnam Conflict and in the westernized curriculums taught
in most institutions. The group became the University Committee Against
One of UCAR’s goals
was to help African American students who were attempting to effect
change at Northeastern. UCAR members felt it was not their place to
define or direct the struggle of African American students. Instead,
the organization pledged to support the efforts of African American
organizations. UCAR backed the submission of the 13
demands and set up a booth to encourage open discussion on racism
and to educate those who were unaware of the transformations needed
in society. UCAR also investigated the hiring policies of co-op employers
to determine if they were racially discriminatory.
In 1970, UCAR also formed
a course, Analysis of American Racism, which was granted academic credit
by the College of Liberal Arts. The course was supervised by five faculty
members and five students who were chosen by the College of Liberal
Art’s Curriculum Committee and the Student Advisory Committee.
Two of the student spots were reserved for UCAR members. The course
was taught by undergraduate students who received work-study compensation.