Seniors Launch Social Justice Site

Launch 2012, a new website created by a group of Harvard seniors, aims to connect the Class of 2012 after graduation through public service and positive social change.

The group will encourage members of the Class of 2012 to continue to work on a social justice cause chosen by members of the class. “Our mission is to enable the Harvard Class of 2012 to connect and collaborate for greater positive social impact post graduation,” the group’s website explains.

The groups’ founders have been present at Senior Week events to ask seniors to vote for the social issue that will unite their classmates after graduation. Options include economic empowerment, global health, environment, education, and human rights. “We appreciate the experiences we’ve had and all the opportunities that we’ve been given at Harvard,” said Catherine C. Doherty ’12, Launch 2012 co-founder and the group’s head of strategy and communications. “We want to give back beyond the Harvard community and we want to stay connected.”

The project, pitched and developed for a class on social entrepreneurship, has already received over 750 votes in one week to determine its chosen social issue. Founders said they are aiming for at least 1,000 votes from members of the class of 2012. “We want this to be a very true vote of what our class wants,” said Julia L. Moore ’12, another co-founder.

The leadership team has grown from a few founders to 25 seniors.“It was a very team-oriented process,” Doherty said.The founders said they hope that the initiative will grow even more as seniors sign up to be city captains, volunteering to host public service events pertaining to the decided social issue in cities across the world. The founders hope to announce the social issue that their class voted on after graduation.

“Launch 2012 is going to help us build our social events into service events in the upcoming years,” Second Class Marshal Lange P. Luntao ’12 said. “Our Harvard 2012 classmates are the best resources we have.”

In the future, the group’s leaders hope to partner with the Phillips Brooks House Association and to encourage other undergraduate classes to join them in this project.

“Just meeting people at the events this week, there’s been a lot of underclassmen still around and they come up and ask ‘What is this? Tell me more,’” said Moore. “It’s definitely something that we want people to run with like future classes at Harvard.”

—Staff writer D. Simone Kovacs can be reached at dkovacs@college.harvard.edu.

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