Leading Up to Claiming Williams 2009
Claiming Williams Day is intended as both a collective exploration of the various forms of privilege that inform experience at the College, and an opportunity to reflect on the responsibilities each of us has within—and to—our community. The project is heir to the remarkable energy released last Spring in response to practices that disallow many who live, work, and learn at this place to claim it as their own on equal terms. The goal is to engage the campus in an ongoing dialogue about mindsets, habits, choices, and actions that can create or disrupt community.
Each of us—staff, students, and faculty alike—should be readily able to “Claim Williams.” February 5, 2009 will be dedicated to building community across differences, across misunderstanding, and in unexplored territory. During this day, speakers, performers, and facilitators from many fields (literature, athletics, theater, art, politics, and more) will appeal to our wide range of interests. Individuals from both within and outside the Williams community will help us engage with the issue of privilege and explore the ways in which it manifests itself, often imperceptibly, along the lines of categories of identity such as class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, race, religion, and disability. Differences among us will never constitute the base of our community’s strength so long as they produce the kinds of inequities that have had real, and damaging, consequences on this campus. The events of Claiming Williams Day will serve as an initial step toward rendering these inequities visible and building a college community to which all members have equal claim.
Claiming Williams Steering Committee
Danielle Diuguid ’11
Ed Epping, co-coordinator
Natalie Friedman ’10
Ruth Harrison, co-coordinator
Narae Park ’10
Claire Schwartz ’10, co-coordinator
Dae Selcer ’10
Shayla Williams ’09, co-coordinator