2015 Community Forums: 3:30 - 5 p.m.

Claiming Williams Events, Feb 5, 2015:
Community Forums: 3:30 – 5 p.m.


Mobilizing for Climate Justice with Reverend Yearwood from the Hip Hop Caucus

23dd6ad6fd62875003c0c10efbdc4fc403aa57eaParesky Auditorium

Climate change disproportionately affects people and nations of lower socioeconomic status, but environmental activism is often seen as a predominantly white, affluent movement. Reverend Yearwood is CEO and president of the Hip Hop Caucus, a civil and human rights organization that works to open the environmental justice movement to those whom it most affects. Through music and culture, the Hip Hop Caucus works to “mobilize, educate, and engage young people… on the social issues that directly impact their lives and communities.” In 2010 Rev. Yearwood was named one of the 100 most powerful African Americans by Ebony Magazine, and one of the 10 Game Changers in the Green movement by the Huffington Post.

Co-sponsored by the Williams Environmental Council, the Center for Environmental Studies, the Zilkha Center, the Africana Studies Department, and the Dean’s Office.

Writing as Political Action

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From FB to Twitter, blogs to print media, activists have many ways to share their stories and inspire others to get involved.  In this workshop, author and activist Chaedria LaBouvier ’07 talks about how writing can support movements for social change and, especially, offer powerful venues for calling attention to the personal impact of micro and macro aggression.  Join this session to think about how to use personal storytelling as a form of political action at Williams and beyond.

Unmasking Empathy: A Staged Reading of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Play We Are Proud to Present a Presentation… 

35c6ae85161a39cb2ba579bf12c261ad2e3d3d73CenterStage, ’62 CTD

Join us for a staged reading performed by Williams student actors followed by a group discussion of African American dramatist Jackie Sibblies Drury’s 2012 Obie-award winning play We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South-West Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915.  The play tracks the chaotic attempt by an ensemble of six actors to empathize with the both the victims and perpetrators of a historical genocide without stirring up their own histories of racial prejudice, privilege, and violence. Sponsored by The Department of Theatre, with special thanks to the ’62 Center Staff.

Trust at Williams

cf09d99b3673bd74c8fc071dcb315352c95bcd8fGoodrich Hall

The Gargoyle Society will explore the topic of trust–upheld, broken, and otherwise– from multiple angles, all of which pertain to daily life at Williams College. This topic of trust is particularly relevant to students seeking to trust each other and the institution they inhabit.  Though important, we often find that trust is difficult to establish, and often even more difficult to maintain. This process of building (and sometimes breaking) trust can center around upon a number of relevant sub-themes including sexuality, academic honesty, the decision to alter one’s path, and institutional integrity.

This event will present several stories that have in common one underlying theme; however, the presenters of these stories differ in how they characterize trust and in how it has impacted their time at Williams. Speakers include Lukas Elek ’17, Audrey Thompson ’17, Ahmad Greene-Hayes ’16, and Bryan Jones ’16.

Torn by Guilt and Rage

f9fde2a581d30a441607046189f47ca12fa4919cDodd House Living Room

Torn by guilt and powerlessness, four students share what is like being at Williams while their home state and/or country are torn by war, protests, drone and extremist killings. In this event four Williams students will share their experiences of how it is like living in the safe, predictable and privileged bubble of Williamstown while their friends, families and communities they love in their home states and countries live a daily life of fear, terrorism and oppression. They share personal stories of how on-going warfare, policing and oppression affects their loved ones, their hopes for change and how they have begun to become catalysts of change in their communities. Finally, they call on us and the rest of the world to join them in helping them confront and solve the systems that continue to affect them and others they love. Panelists will include Hamza Farrukh, Burhan Aldroubi, Gabriela Contreras-Cisneros, Remy Gates.