March 1, 2023 – I spent some of the summer after my first year at Harvard Law School working on the case against Purdue Pharma, the company that infamously produced and marketed opioids to horrific ends. That case, which has now been settled, opened my eyes to the awful truth of how the Sackler-owned Purdue Pharma manufactured not just opioids, but the opioid overdose crisis we now find ourselves in. A staggering 107,600 Americans died in 2021 because of the crisis, 15 percent more than the year prior.

And so, when I came to campus that fall to begin my first in-person year at Harvard Law, I was shocked to see the Sackler name again — this time, prominently displayed on one of the three buildings that compose the Harvard Art Museums.

A sea change in public opinion, practical application, and even entertainment surrounding the opioid overdose crisis has begun to sweep through the country. Harvard has not just ignored that change, but steadfastly resisted it, choosing instead to defend the naming of the Arthur M. Sackler Building.