Alumna Calls for University of Pittsburgh to Require Students to Take a Black Studies Course

Sydney Massenber, an alumna at the University of Pittsburgh who is starting law school this fall, has started a petition calling for the university to require all undergraduate students to take a Black studies course in order to meet graduation requirements.

Massenber states that “during my time as a Pitt student, I’ve always felt as though all my non-Black classmates would benefit from learning more about what it means to be Black in America. This lack of knowledge has negative consequences in university communities across the country, and I want Pitt to lead the way in making a real change.”

In a letter to university administrators, Massenber argues that “there is a need for the revision of current general education requirements, entailing that students take a course that specifically covers topics of Black history and/or race theory, allowing for the examination of blackness in our society and its relationship to law, politics, and power, thus helping them to be effective allies.”

The petition was signed by more than 6,500 individuals in its first week online. The university has stated that it would consider the proposal.


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