From Professor Gail Newman:

The Claiming Williams Steering Committee invites members of the community to propose events for Claiming Williams Day 2019 that can spur dialogue and move us toward action. As many of you know, this will be the 10th anniversary of the first Claiming Williams, which took place in January 2009 after a series of incidents in an entry sparked a student movement that was joined by staff and faculty, and became known as Stand with Us. Even though Claiming Williams Day now takes place every year, similar incidents continue to occur, and the current political climate threatens to further widen divisions at Williams and beyond.This year also marks other important anniversaries: 50 years for Africana Studies, 30 years for the Davis Center, and 15 years for Latinx Studies.

On January 31, 2019 Claiming Williams Day will invite the college community to Stand with Us Now—to come together to reflect on changes that have occurred at Williams in these year, and changes that we can undertake for the future.

1) Will the Claiming Williams Steering Committee be smart enough to heed my annual advice? Doubtful!

2) Is there any actual evidence for the claim that “similar incidents continue to occur?” The Record should find out! We have regular “hate hoaxes” in which someone, generally a minority, commits an act of racist vandalism but that is not (presumably!) what Newman is talking about.

3) Is there some significance to the phrase “Stand with Us Now?” The original movement was called “Stand with Us.” Does Newman not know that? Is she purposely changing the slogan to update it after a decade? My guess is that this phrasing first appeared as the special theme for last year’s Claiming Williams. Newman doesn’t realize that the original movement was just “Stand with Us.”

Entire e-mail below the break.

> From: Gail Newman
> Date: October 18, 2018 at 10:11:19 AM EDT
> To: WILLIAMS-PERSONNEL@LISTSERV.WILLIAMS.EDU
> Subject: Invitation to submit proposals for Claiming Williams 2019
> Reply-To: Gail Newman
>
> Dear Colleagues:
>
> The Claiming Williams Steering Committee invites members of the community to propose events for Claiming Williams Day 2019 that can spur dialogue and move us toward action. As many of you know, this will be the 10th anniversary of the first Claiming Williams, which took place in January 2009 after a series of incidents in an entry sparked a student movement that was joined by staff and faculty, and became known as Stand with Us. Even though Claiming Williams Day now takes place every year, similar incidents continue to occur, and the current political climate threatens to further widen divisions at Williams and beyond.This year also marks other important anniversaries: 50 years for Africana Studies, 30 years for the Davis Center, and 15 years for Latinx Studies.
>
> On January 31, 2019 Claiming Williams Day will invite the college community to Stand with Us Now—to come together to reflect on changes that have occurred at Williams in these year, and changes that we can undertake for the future.
>
> This year’s theme is “(How) Do You Claim Williams?” Please submit a proposal and help to shape the day’s conversation! We encourage roundtables, panel discussions, and group activities that respond to these questions – or others:
> • What are the most pressing issues facing underrepresented groups on campus?
> • How do you see coalitional movements taking place on campus?
> • What concrete demands can you pose to Williams to make it more inclusive?
> • How do the Davis Center, Africana, Latino/a Studies serve students?
> • How can academic units support positive change at Williams?
> • What kinds of changes can be made to ensure that staff are equal partners at the college?
> The Committee especially encourages proposals that are developed collaboratively by groups of students, faculty, and staff or that bring together various organizations, departments, teams, or other groups.
>
> Proposals should be submitted by November 9, 2018. Proposal submission forms can be accessed via http://claiming.williams.edu/. You may address any questions to Claiming Williams Day Steering Committee Co-Chairs, Gail Newman (gnewman@williams.edu) or Tatiana McInnis (tdm3@williams.edu)
>
> Finally, we hope you will plan to attend Claiming Williams Day events. We have lined up two keynote events:
> – At 10 AM, we will screen the film Transmilitary, by Fiona Dawson, discussion following the film with Fiona Dawson and Laila Ireland
> – At 7 PM, Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement, will discuss her work and take questions.
>
> Looking forward to your ideas –
>
> The Claiming Williams Steering Committee

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