A Harvard employee who asked a neighbor with a biracial daughter if she lives in “affordable” housing has been placed on leave, reports the Harvard Crimson.
The leave will be effective immediately for Theresa A. Lund, who, get this, is Harvard Humanitarian Initiative executive director. According to her Harvard bio, she is a high totem pole social justice warrior:
She worked to advance and disseminate evidence-based, experimental research that examines gender gaps in the areas of economic opportunity, political participation, health, and education. The findings from this work have been applied by leading decision-makers across sectors and around the world.The initiative’s director Michael J. VanRooyen wrote in a Facebook post that the organization “does not condone” Lund’s behavior.
The exchange was caught on video by the neighbor, Alyson Laliberte, and has gone viral.
Apparently, Lund asked Laliberte to move from under Lund's housing unit because of the noise Laliberte's daughter was making which was making it difficult for Lund's kids to nap
Laliberte, apparently sensing she had higher social justice warrior standing, did not move, which triggered Lund who dropped her SJW pose to do battle.
At one point, Lund asked “Are you in one of the affordable units? Or are you in one of the Harvard units?”
Lund later apologized for the incident in a post on her personal Facebook page, writing there was “no reason” for her to have asked Laliberte whether she lives in affordable housing.
“I am terribly sorry about the exchange I had with my neighbor yesterday. What I said was inappropriate and wrong,” Lund wrote.
Lund also wrote that she should not have addressed Laliberte’s daughter, referencing a moment in the video where she turned to the child and said, “You are a sweetheart, I’m sorry that I’m fighting here with your mommy. She’s not being very nice.”
VanRooyen’s post did not specify how long Lund would be on leave.
According to a LinkedIn profile, Laliberte is a pharmacy technician at CVS Health.