The recently-founded Reproduction Justice Aliance is organizing a 5K trail run or walk here at Amherst to raise funds for the “Prison Birth Project.” The PBP, based in Holyoke, supports and educates formerly incarcerated mothers and “trans*” parents about reproductive justice and community organizing regarding the intersections between parenting and the criminal justice system. Sam O’ Brien ’18 and Kamini Ramlakhan ’17, two staff members at the Women’s and Gender Center, founded the RJA in the wake of the new presidential administration.

I sat down with Helena Burgueño ’19 who organized the Amherst ChalkWalk — an artistic, community-wide event taking place on downtown Amherst sidewalks this Saturday, April 29.

Abstract artwork boils an idea, a thought or an emotion down to its basic essence. But its universal aspect can also be frustrating because it lacks individuality, an intimacy that brings one closer to the artist. Abstraction generalizes emotion, simplifying it to a universally shared kernel. But no one experiences their sorrows and blisses the same way. To generalize the emotional experience is to make it recognizable to everyone but not belong fully to any particular person.

This past weekend, Dance and Stepping at Amherst College (DASAC) performed their spring show in Keefe Campus Center’s Friedmann Room titled “DASAC Gets Out.” DASAC, Amherst’s student-run dance group focused on hip-hop, Caribbean and other dance styles originating from the black diaspora, celebrated its 15th anniversary with this show. The group was founded by black and brown students disappointed at the lack of representation of black dance. Each semester, the show is given a culturally relevant theme (last semester, the show was an homage to Beyonce’s newest album “Lemonade”).

“Being a Human in STEM” is a project-based course designed by students and chemistry professor Sheila Jaswal. The course, offered as a Chemistry special topics class, aims to foster a more inclusive, supportive STEM community and develop a framework for students and faculty to both understand and navigate diverse identities in the classroom and beyond.

On Good Friday, living rap legend Kendrick Lamar released his fourth studio album entitled “DAMN.” The album has already received rave reviews, despite being a significant departure from the heavy 70’s jazz vibe of his last project, “To Pimp a Butterfly.” His first song, “BLOOD,” is a narrative over a calm yet chilling beat. He tells the story of an interaction with a blind woman, who tells him he has lost his life, before a gunshot is heard. A Fox News audio clip disparaging lyrics from Kendrick’s other songs follows up the narrative.

The faculty in the English department took steps last year towards a connection with the theater and dance department by allowing playwriting classes to be counted for English course credit. This semester, their relationship has grown even further. The Green Room, a student-directed theater group that is not part of the theater department, brought these two departments closer together by hosting a playwriting competition.

Pages