University of Maryland Names Women’s Studies Department After Harriet Tubman

The University of Maryland’s women’s studies department will now be named after Harriet Tubman, university President Darryll J. Pines announced in an email to the campus community. Dr. Pines became president of the university on July 1.

This is the first time that an academic department at the University of Maryland will be named after someone honorifically, according to Dr. Pines. The women’s studies department is the only one in the country that offers a Black women’s studies minor.

“Historically, Black women have played a brave and critical role in social justice,” Dr. Pines wrote. “Harriet Tubman’s life and her dedication to freedom and equality speaks directly to the department’s mission, now and in the years ahead.”

Harriett Tubman was born into slavery in Maryland. After escaping to the North, she made numerous returns to the South to lead dozens of slaves to freedom. During the Civil War, she served a spy, scout, and nurse for the Union Army. After the Civil War, Tubman settled in Central New York. She died in 1913.

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  1. President Pines this is nothing but another surface level symbolic change. You need to be focusing on true substantive changes at the University Maryland such an significantly increasing the number of native born Black American faculty hires/ tenure offerings. Anything less is unacceptable President Pines.

    • Not to disagree, but an inquiry of you: what’s the timetable you’re willing to give Dr. Pines? Is this something we presume he should have done within the first 90 days? 180 days? 1 year?

      • Let’s be clear SOJo, Dr. Pines has been affiliated with UMD for decades and thereby one should expect for him to come with the mentality of making IMMEDIATE institutional changes. There’s no time for piecemeal incrementalism similar to what you’re pontificating.

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