Welcome!

Claiming Williams Day 2022 

Thursday, February 3

Propose an event by December 6!

2022 CW Theme: Breaking Cycles: Where Do We Go From Here?

The goal of this year’s Claiming Williams is to look inward and question how we can break the cycle of oppression, injustice, and the notion of effortless perfection that defines experiences at Williams College and beyond. Claiming Williams 2022 will happen in the midst of a global pandemic, an ongoing fight for racial justice, a growing labor shortage, and a call for mental health awareness. Whether it’s working toward breaking negative or destructive thought patterns to ending intergenerational trauma responses; whether it is forcing an institution to look in the mirror and come up with new solutions or creating a new paradigm for thinking— This year’s theme invites all members of the community to weigh in on how we as individuals, a community, and an institution can name, respond and unpack harmful incidents. How do we break these never-ending cycles and move toward a more restorative practice in all things we do?

Claiming Williams 2022 wants to hear your ideas. Upon reflection and inspection, what are areas that you feel need vast improvements and what are some cycles the Williams College community would like to see stopped altogether on campus and in the larger world? And, how can we work toward a future free of those structures that orchestrate so much of our lived experience?

A Brief History

Claiming Williams was born after a series of racist and sexist incidents in January 2008 sparked a grassroots student movement that was joined by staff and faculty, and became known as Stand with Us. The hope was that the community would work pro-actively to prevent hurtful, hateful incidents, rather than just responding afterward.

The College celebrated the first Claiming Williams Day on February 5, 2009. Read more on the Mission & History and Archive pages.

Claiming Williams Day

Claiming Williams Day occurs on the first Thursday of the Spring semester. Classes are suspended and the campus engages in events and discussions about building and sustaining a more inclusive community. Claiming Williams Day takes shape around proposals generated by students, staff, and faculty.

We urge you to get involved – by serving on the Claiming Williams Committee, by proposing an event, or by participating in the events of the day. The Claiming Williams Steering Committee is eager to assist members of the community who want to propose an event or discussion: please contact us if you have an idea.

Mission Statement

Claiming Williams invites the community to acknowledge and understand the uncomfortable reality that not all students, staff, and faculty can equally “claim” Williams. By challenging the effects of the College’s history of inequality that are based on privileges of class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and religion, we will provoke individual, institutional, and cultural change.

Claiming Williams Day 2021 – February 18 – From Racial Injustice to Restoration