Activist Student Groups

University Committee Against Racism

Northeastern’s African 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 Racism (UCAR).

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.