In 1968, Black women students from Pembroke convinced Black men at Brown to join them in a walk-out. Their goal was to expose the lack of attention paid to the needs of African American students at a predominantly white school and to protest the small number of Black students admitted to Brown and Pembroke.

In December 1968, sixty-five of the eighty-five Black students then enrolled marched down College Hill to the Congdon Street Baptist Church, where they stayed for three days. At that time, only 2.3 percent of Brown students were African American. The students wanted Brown to increase the number of African Americans in each entering class to 11 percent, equivalent to their percentage in the U.S. population.

The administration of President Ray Heffner agreed to increase the number of African Americans admitted to Brown; the amount of financial aid given to those students; and the number of African American faculty and staff.

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