Ethnic GEM in the MAKING: Kahlil Greene
School: Yale University
Double Major: Economics & Politics
State: New Haven, CT
First African American Elected President of Yale University Student Body
Kahlil Greene is Yale University’s first African American elected student body President for the first time since the school was established 318 years ago, and he’s only a junior.
Greene, a double major in economics and politics from Maryland, was elected as head of the Yale College Council, which was established in 1972. Greene said he is considering a career in politics.
One of Greene’s goals as president is to make a more diverse and inclusive campus.
“I wanted to kind of amplify the voices of the underserved communities on campus, especially students of color. So, being the first black president, I feel like I’m in a position where I can really do that,” Greene said Wednesday in an interview with a Fox affiliate in Washington, D.C. “I think that we can be a more diverse and inclusive campus, and I’m grateful for the role I’ll have in making it happen.”
Greene said that his election is proof of “the progress the university has made over the years for the journey we still have ahead of us.”
Some progress has been made at Yale, a university founded using the money of a notorious slave-trader, Elihu Yale, and supported by donations from advocates of slave-holding right, such as John C. Calhoun.
The university did step up and change the name of its Calhoun College and earlier this year, Yale selected Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the renowned author of critically acclaimed novels like “Americanah” and “We Should All Be Feminists,” as the first African to deliver the university’s Class Day speech.
Yale University is 46.2 percent white and only 5.72 percent Black, with Asians and Hispanics or Latinos taking the number two and three spots respectively.
The incoming class of 2022 at Yale set their record for being the most socio-economically diverse.
A record 47% of the class of 2022 are U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are a part of a minority racial or ethnic group, including the largest-ever numbers of Blacks, Asian-Americans, and Latinx students.