The Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity is pleased to announce the following Towards Greater Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (TIDE) grant awards. We were thrilled to receive a large number of proposals, an indication of the broad commitment to building and sustaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.
Art Visionaries: How Faith Informs Social Justice
Organizers: Rebecca Park ‘22, Karla De La Fuente ‘22, Darío Herrera ‘22
By engaging with artists who center inclusion and diversity in their cultural production, campus community members will be able to witness the convergence of liberating and radical ideologies in a religious experience. Through a series of musical and creative performances, we aim to further understand the conflicting past of faith while also envisioning an inclusive, equitable future. We will invite musicians and other artists, specifically those who center social justice in their creative work as a way to deconstruct oppressive ideologies in their religious experience, to share their cultural production and stories with community members. There will be a follow-up conversation the week following each event.
Developing a Literary Toolkit for Discussions of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Educational Institutions
Organizers: Taylor McClennen ‘22, Helene Ryu ‘22, Morinsola Tinubu ‘23, Mohammad Faizaan ‘23, Claire Shao ‘22, Amy Sosne, Center for Learning in Action
Building on work from last year, we will develop a booklist and instigate book club discussions surrounding the salient topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Williams College and the local schools of Mount Greylock Regional School District and the North Adams Public Schools (NAPS). The selection of books will originate from the website that we developed in our 2019 TIDE Grant (Confronting Race, Class, and Gender Bias in Education), and will result in the purchase of educational materials for each school, as well as inviting authors of the most widely distributed books to speak to the students. By providing a permanent collection of literary resources through recommendations made to the Williams College Library, books funded for the book club related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and books donated to the school districts, it is our hope that students and faculty within the Williams Community and that members of the broader local educational community continue to participate in these discussions at all levels of education.
From Bandung to BLM: Building Black-Asian Solidarity
Organizers: Joy James, Humanities, Dorothy Wang, American Studies
The focus of this project is to educate and foster dialogues among Williams students, staff, faculty, and surrounding and international community on concepts of coalition, dignity, and social justice. From Bandung 1955 to BLM 2020, African/Asian and African American/Asian American solidarity movements for peace and justice have been vibrant, contested, foundational, and fragmented since the end of WW II. These alliances have been both international and national. This proposal for a series of educational workshops titled “Past, Present and Future Afro-Asian Solidarity for Transformative Justice,” the historical and the current conditions for political and cultural allies that contribute to future democratic practices that transcend racial/ethnic divides.
Grey Matter TV
Organizer: Randal Fippinger, ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance
The project will include an investigation into how art and mindful collaboration can help to amplify the voices of historically marginalized communities in Williamstown, resulting in a broad-based collaboration to begin the development of a community access TV series called Grey Matter TV. The scripted scenes of Grey Matter TV are set in turn-of-the-century Williamstown involving the White Oaks neighborhood (an enclave for many formerly enslaved peoples, Indigenous peoples, and multi-racial residents), the White Oaks Mission (the church began by celebrated Williams College professor Albert Hopkins to “clean up the neighborhood”), and the town government.
Supporting Pathways for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Blind, and Deaf-Blind High School Students
Organizer: G. L. Wallace, Accessible Education
The project will further the college’s efforts to support students with disabilities. In particular, print and online materials, as well as a video archive, will highlight existing campus resources, current student experiences, alumni experiences, and available alumni and career support. It is expected that this information might be used by a number of people and offices on campus and will support the college’s efforts to become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. While institutions often talk about the importance of supporting students with disabilities, one way to ensure that support is to create a pipeline that filters out students with disabilities prior to matriculation. This is often not accomplished through intentionally architected malicious policies. Instead, it is the result of de facto processes that screen out students or create subliminal messaging that makes it difficult for students with disabilities to envision themselves as “part of the community.” Due to the invisible, de facto, and cultural nature of this problem, we must work to raise the visibility of our commitment to recruiting and supporting students with disabilities actively during the recruitment and admissions process.
Ephs Inclusion & Diversity Summit
Organizers: Tommy Verdell, Athletics and Carolyn Miles, Athletics
The Ephs Athletics Diversity and Inclusion Summit aims to educate student-athletes and staff regarding the power and importance of diversity, inclusion, acceptance, and unity. As Williams is striving to be a national leader in the area of diversity and inclusion, the summit will address different aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion, expanding definitions and understanding to all participants in athletics.
Important Conservations: Discussion of Food and Racial Justice with Local High School Students
Organizers: Williams Recovers All Perishable Surplus (WRAPS) - Abby Matheny ‘22, Grace Reynolds ‘22.5, Alli Cooke ‘23
This TIDE grant will support a collaboration between WRAPS and two local high schools (Greylock Regional and Drury High School) to sponsor a three-part virtual speaker/discussion series on topics such as food insecurity, racial/social justice issues, and environmental sustainability while receiving guidance and advice on action-oriented steps from knowledgeable speakers of diverse backgrounds. With the numerous challenges presented in 2020, WRAPS acknowledges that there has been no better or more important time to broaden our work on social justice issues in Berkshire County.
Lathisms (Latinxs and Hispanics in the Mathematical Sciences) Video Project
Organizer: Pam Harris, Mathematics
Lathisms (Latinxs and Hispanics in the Mathematical Science) is an organization that seeks to promote and feature different Latinx or Hispanic mathematicians, primarily through the website www.Lathisms.org. This grant will support the development of a series of video lectures featuring the incredible contributions of mathematicians of hispanic descent. The videos will be used in Williams math courses and shared with the math department, the AWM student chapter, OURMATH, and BSTEM.
Promoting Inclusion in Economic Research (PIER)
Organizers: Tara Watson, Economics; Sara LaLumia, Economics; Sarah Jacobson, Economics
The TIDE grant will help fund the Promoting Inclusion in Economic Research (PIER) conference, whose goal is to promote a diverse and inclusive culture within the field of Economics. The one-day conference at Williams will feature research presentations by approximately 25 undergraduates, primarily from colleges in the northeast, and by up to three external speakers.
Racial Justice and DEI Curriculum Development Partnership Project
Organizers: Paula Consolini, CLiA; Germanie Louis '21; Shirley Edgerton, Pittsfield Public Schools; Brian Kelley, Pittsfield Public Schools
The TIDE grant will provide support for a collaborative K-12 curriculum and youth development project with the Pittsfield Public Schools which is part of CLiA’s pilot Racial Justice K-12 Curriculum Initiative. The project focuses on addressing gaps and inaccuracies in curricula and empowering youth of color to engage as social change agents. The overall aim of the initiative is to help “address disparate negative treatment and discrimination on the basis of race.”
Softball Team Book Study - Anti-Racism
Organizer: Kris Herman, Athletics
Through an examination of books on anti-racism, the softball team will continue to further its knowledge and understanding of racial injustice and racist attitudes in our society. The TIDE grant will support the team’s book study, which will encourage and foster anti-racist and fully inclusive values on the team and beyond.
Berkshire K-12 Educator Diversity and Social Justice Training- Phase Two
Organizer: Paula Consolini, Center for Learning in Action
This training involves a series of K-12 educator professional development sessions designed to strengthen and expand the improvement momentum created by the very well-received 2019 Berkshire Educator Summer Institute for Teaching Diversity and Social Justice. The teachers and administrators who attended the program offered by Dr. Khyati Joshi, Professor of Education at Fairleigh Dickinson University, rated the experience very favorably and asked for follow-up support to help them improve their curriculum and advance cultural transformation in their respective institutions. We plan a three-part follow-up which will build on the foundation of the summer training, deepening the learning of the initial participants and expanding access to other K-12 educators and the Williams students who work in local public schools in north and central Berkshire County.
Centering and Activating Native Voices and Perspectives in Special Collections Organizers: Christine DeLucia, History; Lisa Conathan, Special Collections, Williams Library; and Anne Peale, Special Collections, Williams Library
Native American and Indigenous people, voices, and knowledge systems are powerfully present in the archival and documentary materials of the Williams College Library’s Special Collections. We will host a series of Native scholars and community members in Special Collections to create space for critical conversations around Indigenous histories and ongoing presences. We intend these conversations to link together Native knowledge keepers with Williams faculty, staff, and students to collectively build capacities around Indigenous issues and methodologies, and to formulate concrete next steps for making Special Collections more accessible and meaningfully engaged with more diverse constituencies.
Confronting Race, Class, and Gender Bias in Education
Organizers: Emaun Irani ’20, Gwyneth Maloy ’21, Taylor McClennen ’22, Kiri Peirce ’20, Chelsea Romulus ’22, and Helene Ryu ’22, Molly Polk, CLiA (advisor)
This project provides professional development training for Williams students who are pursuing interests in the field of education through paid and volunteer work with the Center for Learning in Action. The training will include small-group dialogue with student leaders and larger-group workshops designed to facilitate discussion and learning about unconscious race, class, and gender biases that exist in school settings. We will work with Dr. Tracey Benson, who recently spoke at Williams about this topic, and draw upon his expertise as we seek to deepen the impact of our work in partnership with local school communities.
DEI Lunch and Learn OCR Pilot Program
Organizers: Anthony Pernell-McGee, ’68 Centre for Career Exploration; Christine Menard, Sawyer Library; and Sharifa Wright, Alumni Relations
To foster regular, meaningful conversation and reflection on the complex topics that comprise some of the central issues DEI work addresses (identity, privilege, power, among others), we will implement a pilot program that supports a monthly “Lunch and Learn” series for the Office of College Relations starting in January 2020. Working with diversity consultant Christina Chang, we have developed a reading list and curriculum for five monthly discussions.
“Femenine” - The Music of Julius Eastman
Organizer: Matthew Gold, Music
As part of our ongoing effort to create inclusive programs that offer the work of important, and often neglected voices, I/O Fest 2020 is presenting several major works by Julius Eastman as well as works by other composers of color. Students, music faculty, and guests will explore and perform works by Eastman, a pioneering minimalist composer who, as a gay, black man in 1970’s and 80’s New York sought to create new spaces for creative expression in a predominantly straight, white field. Performances took place in January at the '62 Center and the Clark and will be accompanied by talks, presentations, and discussions.
Organizers: Paul Gitterman, Integrative Wellbeing Services; Gail Newman, German and Comparative Literature; and Seth Wax, Chaplain’s Office
The Processing Whiteness group for faculty and staff strives to continue to provide a space to examine white identity, white privilege and racism in an effort to increase participation in effective dialogue about race on the Williams College campus. The group will be open to up to 16 faculty and staff and will rely on multiple sources, including White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo, and other articles, videos, music, and art.
Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the Geosciences Major
Organizers: Rónadh Cox, Geosciences, and Anthony Pernell-McGee, ’68 Center for Career Exploration
Geosciences remains a predominantly white and middle-class profession. Although at Williams we have made great strides in recent years in attracting to the major students from underrepresented groups, still we lag behind the college population as a whole in terms of the proportions of first-generation students and students of color in the major. This matters, because we wish to promote a more diverse and inclusive Geosciences profession in the future. That starts with recruiting students. This project will use peer-to-peer interactions as a way to introduce students from underrepresented groups into Geosciences, and, in partnership with the Career Center, it will allow for a career information session, guest speakers, and a field trip to showcase the relevance of Geosciences in the community.
Showcasing Extraordinary Black Women of Computer Science
Organizers: Teiheim Edwards ’20 and Evette Eweka ’20
Underrepresented Identities in Computer Science (UnICS), in collaboration with BSTEM, will bring two prominent black women in the computing industry to campus. We will plan a weekend of events including talks, workshops, and dinners centered around these women sharing their experiences and journey in the industry with students from underrepresented identities in STEM fields. This will offer a perspective that is rarely heard on campus.
WCMA: Engaging New Audiences
Organizers: Christina Yang, WCMA, and Nina Pelaez, WCMA
The Williams College Museum of Art will collaborate with the leaders of Look at Art. Get Paid. (LAAGP), an organization of socially engaged artists that pays people from the community who haven’t visited art museums and trains them to serve as guest critics of the art and institution. The feedback generated by the critics, recruited from the college and local community, will be used to inform future actions addressing inclusion, diversity, access, and equity.
‘Alternative Art Histories: Future Directions in Latinx Art,’ a conference at The Clark Art Institute
Organizers: C. Ondine Chavoya, Art and Latina/o/x Studies; Marco Antonio Flores, Graduate Student, History of Art
Alternative Art Histories is a two-day symposium focused on, U.S. Latinx art and art history. The symposium will bring together leading museum curators, museum directors, and art historians to discuss the aesthetic contribution of U.S. Latinx arts and how we might (re)imagine art history as a more aesthetically expansive, culturally relevant, and socially inclusive field. The distinguished panel of speakers have been at the forefront of establishing the field of Latinx art history and developing a critical framework for understanding and analyzing this quickly expanding visual arts discourse. Discussions will address the intersectionalities that Latinx communities represent across race, class, gender, sexuality, and immigration and how these factors may impact the production and presentation of the visual arts. As we continue to interrogate underrepresentation within the academy, museum, and galleries, now seems a particularly necessary time to come together and critically reassess the field.
Berkshire Educator Summer Institute for Teaching Diversity and Social Justice Organizers: Shawna Patterson-Stephens, Davis Center; Paula Consolini, Center for Learning in Action
The Berkshire Educator Summer Institute for Teaching Diversity and Social Justice is a threeday comprehensive workshop designed to assist K-12 teachers in and around Berkshire County in nurturing learning environments that espouse excellence in inclusivity and diversity. The program will support teachers by empowering them, and subsequently their students, with the tools to become critical participants and culturally competent navigators in an intercultural society. The institute will deepen existing partnerships with area schools by providing new professional development opportunities and strengthening the schools where many Williams students volunteer or work and the children of College staff and faculty attend.
Building Pathways to Promotion and Greater Food Safety through ServSafe Coaching Organizers: Sharon Marceau, Dining Services; Paula Consolini, Center for Learning in Action; Tracy Finnegan, Center for Learning in Action; Marco Vallejos, Student (’20)
Students and staff affiliated with Dining Services, WRAPS, and CLIA will create and implement a program to teach food safety regulations. The College hopes that 100% of staff in Dining Services will pass the ServSafe Manager’s certification test,thereby growing critical food safety knowledge in the wider community as our employees share their expertise with family and friends. Certification also provides employees with a route to promotion and vocational advancement. This team of students and staff will produce and teach a curriculum to assist dining staff achieve a passing grade when they take the test in January 2019; and develop a program to train the trainer so the curriculum can be passed on in future years.
Decolonizing Your Pedagogy
Organizer: Allana Clark, Art
Influenced by Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, this interdisciplinary project will bring together artists/teachers and scholars whose practices revolve around deconstructing hierarchies of knowledge and the development of equitable, intersectional pedagogies within and outside of academia. A series of hands-on workshops, social justice visual projects, and panel discussions throughout the Spring/Fall 2019 academic year will be facilitated by Professor Clarke in collaboration with Professors Mari Rodríguez Binnie, Michelle Apotsos, The Sawyer Library, and Williams Design Thinker in Residence Ric Grefe.
Men of Color Collective
Organizers: Christopher Sewell, Dean’s Office; Michael Grinnell, Jr., Integrative Wellbeing Services
The Men of Color Collective will coordinate gatherings to help all men of color thrive at Williams. The program hopes to provide a forum for discussion and bonding that creates a space for students to work through some of the necessary self-care steps as well as provide opportunities to build a coalition and work on academic and social resilience.
Reclaiming the Stacks
Organizers: Christine Ménard, Libraries; Jonathan Miller, Libraries
Last year, flyers with xenophobic, white supremacist and anti-Semitic messages were disseminated in the print collection, in Sawyer Library. In answer to this covert attack on the values of our community, the library will organize a stacks-occupation program, with events and strategic actions inspired by, and taking place in the stacks. Occupy the Stacks intends to reclaim the physical and symbolic spaces of the library collection, affirm underrepresented identities, and answer the question: Who owns the library collection?
Organizers: Ruby Solomon, Integrative Wellbeing Services; Seth Wax, Chaplain’s Office; Gail Newman, German
The Processing Whiteness group will provide opportunities for faculty and staff to analyze and understand white identity, white privilege, and racism in a supportive environment that focuses on the experiences of the participants. Through a series of facilitated discussions, the group aims to help participants learn to speak about the historical and contemporary implications of white identity, examine race and racism, identify implicit bias and feelings of shame, and explore and practice allyship and interrupting racism.
Radical Care: Practices in “Alternative” Healing Towards Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Organizers: Maria Noya, student (‘21), Elsa Bjornlund, student (‘20), Kristina Hwang, student (‘18.5)
During spring 2019, we will organize three workshops for students and members of the Williams community, particularly those holding marginalized identities, to explore and obtain alternative healing practices, tangible skills, and resources for healing. For a session on food and healing, we plan to invite Bryan Y. Chen (陳彥廷), a New York-based performance artist, educator, and owner, chef, and vendor of The Militant Manatee, a Taiwanese comfort food pop-up. Stinging Nettle Brujxs Healing Collective, a collective of multigenerational Black and Indigenous femmes of color whose work centers on ancestral and cultural healing traditions will facilitate a workshop on traditional medicine. Ancient Song Doula Services, a New York City-based doula collective, will lead a workshop addressing questions of reproductive health.