Home » ‘It’s on everybody’s mind’: Morehouse faculty and students raise concerns about Biden’s graduation speech

‘It’s on everybody’s mind’: Morehouse faculty and students raise concerns about Biden’s graduation speech

by NBC News

ATLANTA — Morehouse College’s leadership is set to hold a call on Thursday — where faculty will get the chance to speak — to address concerns over having President Joe Biden as the school’s commencement speaker next month.

“From our perspective, really having a sitting president come to Morehouse offers an incredible opportunity,” said Morehouse Provost Kendrick Brown, who, along with the president of the school, will be conducting the call this evening, adding: “This is something that is in line with Morehouse’s mission and also with this objective of being a place that allows for engagement of social justice issues and moral concerns.”

Commencement season is traditionally a time for presidents to engage with younger audiences and all the energy they bring. But this year, with pro-Palestinian protests — and protests against Biden’s support for Israel — dominating college campuses, these speeches are more fraught. The White House announced this week that Biden will be doing just two commencement addresses this year, at Morehouse and at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Morehouse professor Andrew Douglas said many students and faculty are “wrestling” with whether — or how — to protest next month’s commencement.

“I’ve spoken with several faculty members who say under no conditions are they going to sit on a stage with Joe Biden,” Douglas said, adding: “It’s on everybody’s mind.”

Douglas, a political science professor in his 13th year at Morehouse, is a member of the school’s faculty council, the 15-member body that wrote a letter to the school’s president last week expressing “disappointment” upon hearing rumors that Biden had been invited to speak.

After those concerns came out, Morehouse’s leadership decided to hold its call with faculty members, though officials have made clear Biden’s invitation will not be rescinded.

“This was a decision that should have included more members of the campus…

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