Legal Battle: Harvard Excludes Black Grad Student

$2,915 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 93 people in 1 month
Created May 2, 2019
We are raising money on behalf of our peer, Philicia, who is a straight-A student in the School Leadership Program at Harvard's Graduate School of Education (HGSE). A School Leadership Program faculty member (publicly) made racist comments directed at Philicia and resigned within 72 hours. Philicia has experienced several acts of retaliation as a student in the School Leadership Program since his resignation, and the following is just one example: 

She is being punished because of her disability and her attempt to advocate for herself given the state of Harvard's non-existent office of Access and Disability Services. To right this wrong, she is forced to file a federal court case because of the retaliatory action taken by Harvard for her self-advocacy on this issue, which is prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. 

She has attempted to negotiate her claims with Harvard but has been rebuffed. Her only recourse at this time is to engage in what may be a lengthy and expensive legal battle. Any dollar amount you contribute will be used to pay lawyer’s fees in the Federal Court Case and ensure Philicia's limited resources as a first-generation student do not serve as a blockade to pursuing justice.  Our hope is Philicia is reinstated in the School Leadership Program as a result of the lawsuit.

If 1,000 people donate as little as $10, we can easily meet our fundraising goal of $10,000. We are hoping to raise the funds to file by 6/30/19. A petition signed by 80% of our peers in Harvard's School Leadership Program (SLP), Dr. Cornel West of Harvard's Divinity School and Dr. Marshall Ganz of Harvard's Kennedy School is linked here. 

We also ask for your support in holding Harvard’s Graduate School of Education accountable for claiming to be an institution that operates as an ally to the marginalized and promoting an inclusive learning space that has not been provided.  Please sign our petition on change.org linked here. 

BackStory:
Philicia was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2018 and was learning how to manage the illness when she began the School Leadership Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). Harvard's director of access and disability services issued Philicia an accommodations letter in August 2018 to be used at the internship required for the school leadership program. The director went on leave in October 2018 and has not returned, leaving HGSE's access and disability services (ADS) office unstaffed and non-existent. Philicia, having learned to manage her new illness, was no longer using the accommodations in March 2019, yet March 2019 is when Harvard decided to go back on their commitments to Philicia. Harvard is now refusing to honor the letter issued by ADS.  They have retroactively discounted the hours she completed in the Fall semester and has demanded she pay to return to Harvard during the 2019-2020 school year or accept a general master’s degree in education. This will not suffice, as the administrative degree Philicia has earned, is required to serve as Principal in the underserved communities/districts she seeks to work in.

A more descriptive sequence of events is linked here
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$2,915 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 93 people in 1 month
Created May 2, 2019
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