"Harvard is the cradle of elitism and of bigotry in Boston, not the cradle of liberty," Edward T. (Ned) Coll, director of the Hartford-based Revitalization Corps, told more than 100 protestors in Harvard Yard last night.
The Revitalization Corps is dedicated to alleviating the problems of the urban poor through tutoring and other services, Amy S. Green '83, coordinator of the Harvard chapter, said yesterday.
Eighty Harvard students are involved in the tutoring program, Green said, adding this type of student effort is critical because "a lot of the people here are going to be leaders and it is important that they are aware of the problems of the urban poor."
The protestors included Harvard and University of Connecticut students, as well as Hartford citizens.
Coll called on the administration to implement a program of compulsory urban service for students. He said the program would awaken students to the urban issues and give students a sense of social responsibility.
"This is a school of tradition and of power, that has not been challenged to help alleviate poverty in the cities," Coll added.
Coll said he was trying to get Harvard to act as a symbol for colleges and preparatory schools in the fight against poverty.
At the end of the rally, Coll said he was going to go to the Federal courthouse in Boston to protest the closing of Brighton Middle School, where many tutors work.
Stephen J. Keeler '83, a tutor in the program, said last night, "It is our responsibility as a community to help the urban poor and not to lose our idealistic insight."