Medgar Evers College Not Living Up to Its Name

Named after a civil rights hero, the Brooklyn, N.Y., college is plagued with problems.


Medgar Evers College, the predominantly black Brooklyn outpost of New York City’s CUNY network, was named after the slain civil rights hero when it was founded in 1969. If Evers were alive, he would surely be chagrined to know that decades later, the school has a dismal graduation rate (10 percent) and a new school president who’s battling with faculty, students and residents over issues small (the removal of black-owned Carver Bank ATMs on campus in favor of Citibank) and large (the attempted eviction of the Center for NuLeadership, an on-campus organization that assists formerly incarcerated students, and the rejection of a $2.4 million grant that would spur the enrollment of hundreds of nonviolent offenders over the next few years). For his part, the school’s president, William L. Pollard, told the New York Times in August, “When you do the work in academic leadership, you’re not going to satisfy all the people all the time.” But that’s not good enough for outspoken opponents such as Kevin Powell, who wrote on his blog that “the mess at Medgar Evers College is a national outrage, and a deeply moral failing, too.”


In other news: Ethnic-Studies Classes Now Illegal in Arizona.