1968 campus walkout
Brown’s history of black student protest takes us to the infamous year of 1968, when 23 Pembroke students warned that they were going to walk out of Brown’s campus on December 3. The walk out found its roots in a series of conflicts and negotiations with President Ray L. Heffner, who had refused to meet the students’ demands. The students proposed 12 demands; speciffically, they demanded that 11% of the Pembroke class of 1973 be black. The BDH article, “Black ‘Brokers Threaten Walkout” clarifies that President Ray L. Heffner was strictly against quota systems and that according to the students, Heffner did not address 11 out of the 12 demands. On December 6, the students were all set to walk out. Approximately 65 Black students congregated at the Faunce arch and walked to Congdon St. Baptist Church. The students brought luggage and bedding into the church, although students left the church throughout the afternoon. This walkout, a pivotal point in Brown’s student protest history, precedes more racial tension and conflict in the coming years.