Two creative Harvard University students have won leadership positions with the school’s Undergraduate Council after their viral campaign for diversity and inclusion at the predominately white ivy league institution.
Ifeoma “Ify” White-Thorpe, 20, who is Black, and James Mathew, 21, who is Indian-American, went viral this month after their catchy campaign video was viewed more than five million times. White-Thorpe was running for vice president and Mathew was running for president of their Undergraduate Council. According to CNN, the popular video was produced by members of 21 Colorful Crimson, 21CC, an organization co-founded by Mathew, and featured dancing, singing, rapping and a saxophone solo.
“What was beautiful about this was that we had this team already assembled, and so when we had the idea of doing something creative around our campaign, we had a perfect place to turn to,” Mathew told CNN.
White-Thorpe said that she had just shared the video with family and did not expect it to get as big as it did.
“I posted the video in a family group chat and my brother,” White-Thorpe said of the original tweet, “who only had 200 Twitter followers at the time, just posted it on Twitter not really thinking anything of it.”
My sister and her friend are running for pres and vp of Harvard’s student government and they never had to go this hard pic.twitter.com/4xsHtEbWkv
— Uche White-Thorpe (@chukwu_21) November 12, 2019
The video was subsequently shared by the likes of Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul and Kerry Washington.
Let’s goooo! https://t.co/V3R6T4iozU
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) November 13, 2019
Mathew and White-Thorpe went on to win the presidency and vice presidency in spite of the daunting ethnicity breakdown at the Ivy League school. According to CNN, a survey of Harvard College’s Class of 2021 done by the Harvard Crimson student newspaper, shows the class was 52.1% white, 23.8% Asian and 11.4% African American in 2017. The remaining 11.9% being Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native and Pacific Islander.
Her proud brother continued to share the good news when the pair wont he election.
— Uche White-Thorpe (@chukwu_21) November 15, 2019
The pair hoped their win would inspire other minorities to make an impact.
“If I was able to come to this amazing place, I could be really, really well positioned to make the impact on this world that I want to,” Mathew said.