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.
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 artist/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 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 to 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 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.