The Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Student Affairs held a “Community Conversation” event in the Powerhouse to discuss transgender issues that have recently affected both the nation and the college community on Wednesday, March 1.

The event resulted in a college-wide email from Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Norm Jones on Monday, March 6 to affirm the college’s renewed and urgent commitment to transgender and gender nonconforming students.

Haram Hwang ’17 is an anthropology major. Her thesis examines child-rearing and its relation to feminism and neoliberalism in Lepan, a rural village in Yucatan, Mexico. Her advisor is Professor Vanessa Fong in the anthropology department.

Sophie Chung is an English major with a concentration in film theory. Her thesis examines Asian-American voices on YouTube and how they affect the Asian-American community at large. Her adviser is Mellon-Keiter Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of English Yu-ting Huang.

Amherst alumna and MacArthur Fellow Dr. Kellie Jones ’81 spoke about her career and upcoming book “South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s” in a talk titled “EyeMinded: Living and Writing Contemporary Art” on Thursday, Feb. 23. In her talk, Jones outlined her efforts to bring the work of black and other marginalized artists to the spotlight and reveal the “hidden history of black people everywhere.”

A student reported finding a hateful message against transgender people in Frost Library’s gender inclusive bathroom, said Chief of Amherst College Police John Carter and Chief Student Affairs Officer Suzanne Coffey in a community-wide email on Tuesday morning, Feb. 28.

The message, found on the previous night, was written in black marker on the mirror, said Carter and Coffey, and the police has initiated an incident report and investigation.

President Biddy Martin sent out a community-wide email on Monday, Feb. 27 announcing that Dean of Students Alex Vasquez will leave his position at the college after the spring semester.

Vasquez, who has been at the college since 2014, helped restructure the Offices of Student Affairs and Student Life, developed updated residential and community standards and participated in planning the Greenway dorms’ interior design, according to Martin’s email.

Marino Cordoba and Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli gave a presentation called “Peace and Human Rights for Afro-Colombian and Indigenous Peoples in Colombia” on Friday, Feb. 24 in Fayerweather Hall. Cordoba is an Afro-Colombian advocate for the Association for Internally Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES), and Sánchez works for the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), which researches and advocates for human rights in the Americas. The Political Science department sponsored the lecture.

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