MAY 2, 1960
WINFIELD, Kan.—I have a letter from a committee called the African Scholarship Assistance Program, which has been formed at the Bronx division of Hunter College, in New York City. The committee has undertaken the task of "assisting students of South West Africa who are presently living under conditions which pose a challenge to the free world." The organization "is designed to give expression to the desires of those who would like to support the South West African students who come to the United States to study. The eventual goal is to prepare them for the future role they will play when they return to their country."
The committee is establishing a fund to assist these students with all their expenses in connection with their attendance at Hunter College. This seems to me a very helpful thing to do. It is not often that students from that area can get to this country, and when they do come they can get no support from their government. The scholarship assistance program will give much needed and much appreciated aid, and should furnish South West Africa with the kind of educated people it will need in the future.
I also want to mention another project, called "Operation Crossroads Africa," which under the direction of the Rev. James H. Robinson has been arranging for young Americans, many of them college students, to go to Africa on work-study projects.
"Crossroads is unique," its director says, "because it is one of the few ventures which give dedicated young Americans an opportunity to become personal ambassadors on a scale never before attempted in Africa.
"Perhaps most important, these Crossroads ambassadors reflect a true mixture of American youth; they come from all sections of the country, represent many different denominations, and constitute a true inter-racial composition. One third of the participants are Negroes, and it is noteworthy that a not-insignificant number of the white youngsters come from the South."
Out of 500 to 600 applicants, 168 have been chosen. Money over and above what the young ambassadors themselves can pay must be raised, so "Operation Crossroads Africa" is appealing for support. From all that I have heard, including the reports what was accomplished last summer, I hope many people will want to contribute to this fund.
I cannot help wondering if there is not some way the United Federation of Teachers could bring its grievances before the public without actually going out on strike. A teachers' strike does more damage to the pupils, whose education is interrupted, than to the teachers or the school boards. This is a very serious situation, and I hope all concerned will try to handle it in some other way than by a strike.
It is good to know that the Board of Estimate has authorized New York City to start action to save Carnegie Hall. Let us hope that nothing will interfere with the preservation of this historic cultural landmark.