UC Berkeley students honor 1968 Olympics boycott

UC Berkeley students and staff gathered at the Berkeley Alumni House on Feb. 23 [[ok]] for a Black History Month celebration to honor the athletes who protested the National Anthem in solidarity with the Civil Rights movement during the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

During the protest, two San Jose State University alumni, John Carlos and Tommie Smith, stood on the victory podium with their “heads bowed and each with a raised fist – the Black Power salute, during the National Anthem,” Fox KTVU reported.

Carlos and Smith spoke to the group about the lasting impacts of the boycott and cited the San Jose State sociology professor and creator of the Olympic Project for Human Rights Harry Edwards as their inspiration for the movement.

“We joined together and decided to make a stand, not only a physical stand but an academic stand to lend help to those who believed running was a lifelong message,” Smith said.

UC Berkeley commended the athletes and commemorated their actions during the Black History Month gathering.

“As athletes, scholars and change agents, you exemplify the spirit of generations,” UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ said at the event.

UCLA to launch Howard and Irene Levine Family Center for Movement Disorders

Howard and Irene Levine and their family foundation made donations totaling $10 million to the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA for the establishment of the Howard and Irene Levine Family Center for Movement Disorders, UCLA reported.

The funds supports “five new endowments in the department of neurology at the school of medicine: a permanent-appointment chair, three term-appointment chairs and a movement disorders research fund — all of which will support basic science research on Parkinson’s disease[.]”

The donations were made in honor of Jeff Bronstein, UCLA’s Fred Silton Professor of Movement Disorders and director of the UCLA Movement Disorders Program and Clinic, who has maintained close relations with the Levine family and praised their philanthropy.

“This transformative philanthropy will provide inspiration and funding for many early career physician-scientists who hopefully will bring us closer to cures for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s,” Bronstein said.

Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and CEO of UCLA Health John Mazziotta expressed excitement for UCLA’s opportunity to make progress in the field of movement disorders.

“UCLA is deeply honored to play a significant part in this process,” Mazziotta said.

A version of this article appeared on p. 2 of the Feb. 29, 2024, print edition of the Daily Nexus.

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Anushka Ghosh Dastidar
Anushka Ghosh Dastidar (she/her) is the Community Outreach News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Ghosh Dastidar was the Assistant News Editor for the 2022-2023 school year. She can be reached at anushkagd@dailynexus.com or news@dailynexus.com.