On November 6, 1968, students at San Francisco State College went on strike. Their actions transformed the campus forever and influenced changes at universities throughout the nation. Led by the Black Student Union (BSU) and the Third World Liberation Front (TWLF) – a coalition of ethnic student organizations – the strike shut down the university for 115 days, attracting worldwide media attention and the consternation of politicians and administrators, including California Governor Ronald Reagan and the California State Colleges Board of Trustees.
The BSU and TWLF put forth 15 non-negotiable demands which included an end to discriminatory admission practices that excluded people of color, the development of curriculum that reflected their communities and contributions, and an increase in ethnic faculty. The strike overlapped the administrations of three different university presidents.
It finally reached a conclusion on March 21, 1969, when TWLF representatives and the administration reached an agreement. The successful outcomes included the establishment of the College of Ethnic Studies – the first in the nation – increased special admission slots through the Educational Opportunity Program, a commitment to hire more faculty of color, and amnesty for many students who were arrested and charged during the strike.
This site was created to bring all of the strike-related collections and resources in San Francisco State University’s Special Collections and Archives together in one place. Here you can view all of our digital collections arranged by format, listen to the oral histories of strike veterans, view the strike chronology through an online exhibit, and access finding aids and other resources.