What would it mean for a powerful, predominantly white, alumni community to commit to being anti-racist? How can the oldest alumni organization in the country work to dismantle white supremacy? How can Williams alumni come together to support Black lives?
The Williams of today is better than the Williams of yesteryear because of the engagement, thinking, activism and actions of our alumni community. When we have listened to our Black community members, we have pushed our college forward; but we have not always listened. Now is a time to listen, to learn, to educate and to act. Everyone who has the benefit of a Williams education is critical to this moment and can help us chart our collective future. Mindful to not overburden those already carrying weight, we invite alumni to submit your own stories about race and racism, how you are fighting for racial justice, supporting protests, pursuing justice reform, talking to your kids or simply surviving today. We especially hope to hear your thoughts on how we can galvanize the power of the Williams alumni community to effect change. We will share your stories, should you choose, in an effort to build understanding, create connections within our Williams family and, most importantly, amplify your voice.
Official Statements by the College
An Update from the College: Williams has heard from many alumni, students, faculty and staff who want their college to make its own contributions to the fight for racial justice. Please read President Mandel’s full statement for the college’s commitments to this work.
Resources & Writings by Ephs
- Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus | JSTOR Daily
- Anti-racism Resources
- Race, Injustice, Black Lives Matter: Recommended reading from [Williams] faculty and staff
- Professor Charles Dew on his memoir The Making of a Racist
- Williams Sisterhood & The Society of the Griffins Juneteenth statement – June 2020
- Williams Latinx Alumni Network (WLAN) statement of solidarity – June 2020
- Tirhakah Love ’15, staff writer at LEVEL reflects on the exhaustion of Anti-Blackness in 2020 and debunks the myth of a ‘pretty protest.’
- Yazmine Nichols ’15, student at Fordham University, wrote a law journal note regarding race-based police calls.
- Virginia Cumberbatch ’10, director of Center for Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin, writes an opinion “Will You Run? A message for white Austin“
- Nichole Alcántara Beiner ’09, on what action are you taking and where do you start learning.
- Natalie Diaz ’09, chief of staff at Time Equities, Inc. speaks to the weight of being a Black woman in America and how she feels the burden to engage white allies in this fight.
- Black Lives Matter: A collection of readings for blackout Tuesday (h/t Rashid Duroseau ’09, Kim Dacres ’08)
- Rebecca Allen ’07, writes an essay “On Brands, Black Lives Matter and Allyship“
- Robert Bland ’07, professor of history at University of Tennessee Knoxville, ‘looks at riots, strikes, and Black citizens’ struggle for justice in the South Carolina low country in 1876.‘
- Chaédria LaBouvier ’07, writes for The Cut, “The Afterlife of George Floyd: A Portfolio by Photographer Eli Reed“
- Jessica LoPresti ’06, professor of psychology at Suffolk University, on the link between experiences of racism and stress and anxiety for Black Americans.
- Robert Michelin ’03, head of Gotham Professional Arts Academy featured on tackling tough conversations on race and violence with students virtually.
- Rory Kramer ’03 researches police interactions and tactics.
- Jasmine Mitchell ’03, American Studies professor at SUNY Old Westbury, launches her first book: “Imagining the Mulatta: Blackness in U.S. and Brazilian Media.”
- Naomi Jackson ’02 shares her experience giving birth as a Black woman in America
- Robert Griggs ’01, host of The Supa Dupa Podcast, discusses with experts why the history of racism in America is not taught in schools.
- Michael Brown ’99, engineer at Microsoft, organizes ‘a conference in honor of Juneteenth to build community among Black people in tech.’
- Kerrita K. Mayfield ’93, secondary science teacher at Amherst Regional Middle School, shares her action tool that is designed to be a person-centered approach to sustainable place based change.
- Larry Smith ’92 reflects on this moment in history for the Indianapolis Recorder newspaper.
- Katie Albright ’89, CEO of Safe & Sound, shares her organization’s list of resources to watch, listen, and read.
- Cassandra Kirk ’89, Fulton County chief magistrate judge in Atlanta, partners up to help develop a diversionary program that helps youth explore their entrepreneurial prowess without jail time or probation.
- Claudia Rankine ’86 reflects on the reality of repetition in the systems of institutionalized racism and discussed her forthcoming book, Just Us: An American Conversation, on The Quarantine Tapes podcast
- Steven Rogers ’79, retired professor from Harvard Business School, shares advice on helping Black businesses.
- Tim Layden ’78, writer-at-large for NBC Sports, analyzes the performative relationship of black athletes in sports and how fans must better understand them.
- Bill Spriggs ’77, chief economist for the AFL-CIO, talks about the pandemic’s effect on joblessness — especially on minority employees.
- Gordon Davis ’63, partner at the law firm Venable, wrote an op-ed for the NYTimes in 2015, connecting the racist legacy of Woodrow Wilson’s public policy and its impact on his paternal grandfather.