Johanna Fernández - First Interview, class of 1993

Johanna Fernández is a native New Yorker. She received a PhD in History from Columbia University and an AB in Literature and American Civilization from Brown University. While at Brown, she led the April 1992 student occupation of University Hall in hopes of pressuring Brown to move more rapidly towards the admission of students regardless of their ability to pay to attend. During the takeover, 253 students, including Fernández, were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for not vacating University Hall. Need-blind admission would not be established at Brown until 2003 and was not fully practiced until 2007. 

Fernández is associate professor of history at Baruch College of the City University of New York where she teaches 20th Century U.S. History, the history of social movements, the political economy of American cities, and African-American history. She has previously taught at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, PA, and Trinity College in Hartford, CT. In December 2019, Fernández published her most recent manuscript, The Young Lords: A Radical History.

For more information on the 1992 takeover of University Hall, see here: