Statement: “I remain deeply committed to working with and for you to make a difference”
I want to start by congratulating the candidates recently elected to the Harvard Board of Overseers. It has been a true privilege to run alongside these inspiring leaders, including the newly-elected Megan Red-Shirt Shaw (my sister on the Harvard Forward platform) and Raymond J. Lohier Jr, Sheryl Wu Dunn, and Mark J. Carney (who were also endorsed by the Coalition for a Diverse Harvard slate).
My sincere thanks to the thousands (alumni and non-alumni alike) who have been supporters throughout this process, embracing a vision for the unique window of opportunity to advance racial justice, recognize the intersections with climate action, and more intentionally include underrepresented voices in decision-making spaces. The list is long — including my husband and family (especially my mom who herself has been a higher education leader) — and the amount of support has been humbling.
Today ends this months-long journey in my candidacy to serve on the Harvard Board of Overseers, the University’s highest alumni-elected governing body. While I am disappointed that I will not have the opportunity to serve on the Board at this time, my commitment to this vision of possibility remains unwavering.
Imagine if institutions were known as leaders in creating a more equitable, inclusive, and just society. Imagine if institutions listened more and used their positions, voices, and decisions to advance the most pressing issues of our time. Imagine if institutions increased transparency around processes and included more underrepresented voices from the communities they seek to serve. It is my hope, on behalf of this community, that the new governing body will amplify this vision in all that they do.
And to my community, my gratitude and encouragement. The stakes are too high for us to not have a seat at the table to positively shape institutions, at Harvard and beyond. I remain deeply committed to working with and for you to make a difference.
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
— Archbishop Desmond Tutu (’89 petition candidate for the Harvard Board of Overseers)
Dr. Yvette Efevbera is a global health and equity expert and advisor on adolescents, youth, and gender. Efevbera was a candidate for the 2021 Harvard Board of Overseers and 1 of 3 to be on the ballot through a petition nomination process requiring support of nearly 3000 alumni.
(Views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer or affiliations.)