Racial Justice

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.

"Every time an innocent black person is killed by law enforcement officials, it hurts in the deepest parts of my heart that I can only access through such injustice. It is because I am what they are — I am them. Who I am biologically, genetically, culturally is constantly being murdered, in plain sight, by my own country. By the forces that are meant to protect me, and Ahmaud and George." Natalie Diaz '09, Chief of Staff at Time Equities, Inc. "The weight I carry as a black woman in America must be lifted, but I can't do it alone"
Read the full article >

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.
9/17 Update from President Mandel
6/12 Update from President Mandel
5/31 President Mandel Responds
The Davis Center Responds

Resources & Writings by Ephs

"Interrogating the ways we protest has become a fervent dialogue on social media, but blind criticism does a disservice to the reality of revolution when it draws distinctions between 'bad' protesters and those who opt to march, kneel, or even dance. To argue over the means when the ultimate end is disruption — as Malcolm X said, by any means necessary — obscures the end itself. For those clinging to the structures being dismantled, all activism looks ugly." Tirhakah Love ’15, staff writer at LEVEL "There’s No Such Thing as a Pretty Protest"
Read the full article >