Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Mascot of the Month: Ralph Bunche Educator and Peacemaker

After being in the UN this month, I am choosing Ralph Bunche as the mascot of the month. You have probably never heard of him, unless you went to UCLA or Harvard. Not to be snobby at all, he just went to those schools and has a huge hall dedicated to him at UCLA (and served on the Harvard Board of Overseers for years).

Ralph Bunch was a black man born in 1903 with an amazing back story (read in Wikipeida for more). He was the first Black man to win a Nobel prize (for a peace plan implemented in Israel), in 1953. He served as under-secretary at the United Nations.
Not to be stereotypical, but the only picture I could find of a young Mr. Bunche at UCLA>
Ralph Bunch and Chancellor Chuck (Charles Young) at the UCLA Building Dedication.
I heard of him because the Geography Department at UCLA was in Bunch Hall. I was in his building at least once a week for the entire 3 years I was at UCLA.  If you have been to the school, you've probably seen it. It is a giant tower, you have to walk under/through to get to the sculpture garden.
Bunche Hall at UCLA northern part of Campus

Ralph Bunche Hall Atrium - Almost all my Geography Classes were in this open atrium.

After working at the UN and Harvard, he continued to work for people with Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights push in the United States. He actually liked in New York and, in 1959, was denied membership to the West Side Tennis Club because he was black, despite being a Nobel Prize winner and Presidential Advisor.

I never got the chance to meet him, he passed away in 1971, but my education was uniquely tied up in his legacy and I admire him. He is the mascot of August.

I was reminded of Mr. Bunche this week as I walked to the UN and passed through Ralph Bunch Park. That is my picture above of the park. It is across from the UN. Below are two pictures from the bottom of the park (this view is from atop the hill above it). The pictures below are of a tower of peace and the Isiah wall.

The tower of peace. I took the picture of the UN from the top of the stairs. There is still construction now so my picture didn't come out any better.

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