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First Black woman elected president of Harvard Law Review

27th February 2017   ·   0 Comments

(Special from News One) — In 1990, Barack Obama became The Harvard Law Review’s first Black President, a major historical achievement (but obviously not his last or most significant).

Fast forward to this year, and The Harvard Law Review has again made history in electing its first Black female president. ImeIme Umana is the journal’s 131st leader.

Umana, who was raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, received a Bachelor’s degree in African American Studies and Government from Harvard College in 2014 and is a third-year student at Harvard Law.



“It is a great privilege to be able to serve and work with the remarkably talented and committed group of editors on the Law Review,” Umana said in a statement, according to NBC BLK.

Outgoing Harvard Law Review president Mike Zuckerman says, “I’ve been blown away by ImeIme since she was an undergraduate in Harvard’s Lowell House, and it has been thrilling to watch the Law Review’s membership recognize so heartily what a special human being she is,” Zuckerman said in a statement. “I am excited for all of the amazing work that she will do for our institution in the year ahead.”

According to The Harvard Crimson, Umana was selected from a field of 12 candidates, eight of whom were women and eight of whom were people of color. All candidates for president must answer questions from a forum of editors, write responses to submitted questions and participate in mock editorial activities.

In her job as president, Umana will oversee the work of 90 student editors and staff members as well as communicate with a group of writers that includes faculty members.

When the then 28-year-old Barack Obama became the first Black man elected as president of the Harvard Law Review, he called his election “encouraging” but warned that just because he would lead the journal, it doesn’t mean there isn’t more work to be done.

“But it’s important that stories like mine aren’t used to say that everything is O.K. for Blacks. You have to remember that for every one of me, there are hundreds or thousands of Black students with at least equal talent who don’t get a chance,” he said.

Umana has been actively involved in politics and law on campus as Community Action Chair of the Harvard University Institute of Politics, Professional Developmental Chair for Public Interest for the Harvard Black Law Students Association, and criminal law intern for Public Defender Service.

NBC News, Harvard Crimson and Vibe contributed to this report.

This article originally published in the February 27, 2017 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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