As an opening move in a campaign to eliminate racial distinction from the Phi Delta Kappa fraternity, a prominent Negro speaker has been invited to address a meeting of the Harvard chapter next Thursday night.
Alain Locke, professor of Philosophy at Howard University, will give a lecture entitled "Democracy Faces a New World Order" at 8 o'clock in the Auditorium at Littauer Center.
Wants to Eliminate Racial Feeling
The constitution of the Phi Delta Kappa society, an organization of national importance in educational fields, does not allow "non-whites" to be members, however much they are qualified for this honor. Wishing to eliminate this racial distinction, the Harvard chapter of PDK has sought for a means by which to effect a change in this policy without actually taking steps contrary to the provisions of the society's national constitution.
Last December, the Ohio State chapter of Phi Delta Kappa rebelled when it took the colloquial interpretation of the "whiteman" clause in the constitution, and inducted as members a Chinese and a Negro. Forthwith the chapter was notified that it would be banned from the society next May unless it rescinded the membership of these two men, which Ohio State has refused to do.
By inviting a Negro speaker to its meeting next Thursday the Harvard chapter of Phi Delta Kappa hopes to express its own sentiments on this subject and bring pressure on the executive board to change the constitutional race ruling, without taking action which could result in suspension from the University.
According to members of the Harvard unit, it is opposed to the democratic concept of education for an organization such as Phi Delta Kappa to restrict its membership to any one race. PDK is sufficiently influential in some parts of the country to control professorial appointments, and in many cases it is impossible for non-members of the society to acquire teaching positions.
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