Howard Alumni in Solidarity with Howard Students

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Progressive Alumni of Howard University
Contact: Inga S. Willis, Class of 1998

HU Financial Alumni #20261

April 4, 2018
Progressive (defined)
1a : of, relating to, or characterized by progress

b : making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities

2: moving forward or onward : advancing

The Progressive Alumni of Howard University represent a large independent collective of innovative defenders of the beloved Howard University legacy. Many of us have been involved with previous protest at the University, and we strongly support the right of students to have their voices heard, and peacefully assemble. We believe the current protesters and student leadership at Howard are expressing issues of legitimate concern relevant to them in today’s time and environment. This discourse fuels the advancement toward an even greater, more accessible future for the world’s best and brightest minds. Our collective views as Alumni members and input were not requested nor represented in a recent stance letter issued by the Howard University Alumni Association (HUAA) regarding current matters. Therefore, in true Howard tradition, we write today to clarify our greater position of support.

We are Howard.

We are the beautiful fruit of Howard’s activist roots. Our seeds of service were planted at the Mecca and have yielded an unparalleled return in global excellence. We embody professional eminence in our respective spheres, just as we were taught. Today’s students at Howard, those who are protesting and those who are not, will continue in this tradition and legacy. We have become greatness, because you told us that we could. You were right.

We are Howard.

We are deeply supportive and proud of the students in current protest, and their efforts exemplify the mission of truth and greater service. We stand in solidarity with our Bison brothers and sisters in the resistance with the spirit of comprehensively improving services and conditions at the University.  While some of these concerns may not be new, old ways will not create new days. Many of these are not new issues, but this is indeed a new and defining moment. We view this as an opportunity to emerge improved, accountable, and unified. We must innovate our approaches and provide inclusive bridges of support for our emerging student leaders, who are the mirror of our greatest possibilities and aspirations as a people. We should be the very foundation upon which they stand.  We are them.

We are Howard.

We will not support efforts to critique approaches, while not addressing legitimate student concerns regarding transparent leadership, rape culture, mental health, community preservation, and the safety of the entire Howard University community. These are recurring concerns of University stakeholders, and it is our hope that current efforts toward acknowledging the swelling voices of concern, will create lasting and influential change.

We are Howard.

We strongly urge that University officials, faculty and Board of Trustees hear the voices of our protesting students without any open or invidious acts of intimidation, reprisal or retaliation.  We support the continuous ongoing discourse between participating University representatives and occupying students, and the necessary efforts being made toward sustainable solutions. We support the right to peacefully assemble, absent any removal efforts from local or University police. Resistance is an inextricable groove of the Howard thumbprint.

We are Howard.

We are watching, engaging, and standing firmly in solidarity with #HUResist and their aim to bring attention to legitimate issues and concerns affecting student life at Howard University.  We will uphold you Howard, to the very standard of excellence we were each bequeathed by our privileged legacy of education. We are one.

We are Howard.

In Truth and Service,


The Progressive Alumni of Howard University


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