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Sadé Abraham will serve as the new senior director of the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, the College announced Tuesday.
Abraham formerly served as interim assistant director for the foundation, as well as its first-generation, low-income student advocate. She also founded and directed the First-Year Retreat Experience, a pre-orientation program designed to equip FGLI students with the tools to navigate Harvard and take ownership of their undergraduate experience.
Abraham wrote in an email that her former posts at the school have allowed her to better understand the “multidimensional entities that make Harvard special.”
“I hope to apply this lens (and the skills therein) to my directorship by making the HF a hub and connecting point for students,” she wrote.
Established in 1981, the Harvard Foundation aims to improve intercultural and race relations across the University to “enhance the quality of our common life.”
The foundation engages Harvard students through year-long professional development internships and its Student Advisory Committee — a collective of representatives from more than 90 student organizations across Harvard committed to promoting dialogue about different aspects of identity, including ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation. Interns also offer diversity trainings and consultations to interested student organizations in the College.
Abraham, who called the new appointment an “incredible honor,” will take the baton from Sheehan D. Scarborough ’07, who assumed the post in April 2020.
“The Harvard Foundation has always played a critical role in the cultivation of community and the development of an enriching student experience, and I am committed to building on that success for Harvard students in the years to come,” Abraham said in a press release. “This work is deeply personal to me, and I am excited for the opportunity to lead us into the next chapter of the Harvard Foundation story.”
The Foundation’s hallmark programming includes its annual Humanitarian Award, whose recipients include Burmese politician and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi as well as former United Nations Secretary General and Harvard Kennedy School alum Ban Ki-moon. In March, after a two-year hiatus from in-person festivities due to Covid-19, the Foundation presented the 36th iteration of its Cultural Rhythms — a festival that celebrates Harvard’s diversity through student performances, art, and cuisine — and named Grammy and Academy Award-winning musician Lady Gaga its Artist of the Year.
Associate Dean for Inclusion and Belonging Alta Mauro lauded Abraham’s return to the foundation.
“We are thrilled to welcome [Sadé] to the role of Senior Director of the Harvard Foundation,” Mauro wrote in an email. “Her experience, enthusiasm, and commitment to building an inclusive community for every single Harvard College student will help position the Foundation to further advance the mission of the College.”
A 2018 alum of the Graduate School of Education, Abraham went on to co-found Kairos Learning, a venture that aims to provide FGLI college students exposure to institutions of higher learning through virtual reality experiences. The venture’s website describes Kairos Learning as using “choose-your-own-ending simulation gaming” to make students more comfortable navigating academic environments.
Abraham wrote that she looks forward to advancing the Foundation’s “flagship programming” and celebrating its more than 40-year history as she assumes the post.
“All of our initiatives strive to enhance the community for various affinity groups and student experiences,” she wrote. “Just knowing that our work and any number of our events can facilitate deeper inquiry, engagement, and a sense of belonging pushes me to ensure that everything we do is done with a spirit of excellence.”
—Staff writer Isabella B. Cho can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @izbcho.
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