I was initially going to write about what being a trans ally has meant for me over my four years at Amherst. I intended on pushing readers to consider their place as we pass the halfway mark of Trans Awareness Month, especially those who do not identify with or fully understand the lived struggles of transgender or gender non-conforming individuals (that’s some cis-gender privilege). I wanted to encourage everyone to participate in the several available events that honor and celebrate trans lives in our world and on our campus.
The faculty and staff in the Chemistry Department have been inspired by the courageous and moving testimony of our students during the events of Amherst Uprising. We are passionately committed to creating a safe and nurturing environment for every one of our students. We also understand that we have failed in this commitment in the past, and we promise to listen and respond to the concerns of every one of our students. We recommit ourselves to supporting the success of every one of our students, here at Amherst and beyond.
As members of the Music Department faculty and staff, we are inspired by the voices raised by students promoting wider understanding of the difficulties students of color and other marginalized groups face on this campus. By sharing your passion and pain so openly, you have renewed an important conversation that we hope will lead toward healing, meaningful and positive change and the prevention of the wounds of bias at Amherst College and beyond. You have our support.
Faculty and Staff of the Music Department
November 13, 2015
The following statement was read at the Nov. 18, 2014 meeting of the faculty in response to the events of Black Lives Matter Awareness Week. Approximately two months later, on Jan. 23, 2015, the college held a Day of Dialogue on Race and Racism, in response both to tensions and controversies emerging on campus from Awareness Week events and to issues raised by student activists who attended the Nov. 18 meeting to voice their concerns regarding racism directly to the faculty.
Dear Amherst College Community,
We, the faculty of the Psychology Department and the Neuroscience Program, write to support the students engaged in the recent movement to bring racial equality to Amherst College.
We, the faculty of the American Studies Department, write in support of those students who this week have demonstrated in solidarity with other students at campuses nationwide who are protesting racism.
The testimony you and scores of other students have provided in Frost Library about your experiences at Amherst clearly demonstrate that Amherst remains an institution where people of color too often are marginalized and silenced. We are concerned that this presents an unsafe environment that is antithetical to intellectual exchange.
We in the Department of Black Studies were moved by Thursday’s walkout and sit-in at Frost Library. Initially an expression of solidarity with students at Missouri, Yale, and elsewhere, it quickly turned into an intense, fiery event, full of compelling stories of struggle, friendship, insistence on belonging, and an overwhelming demand that the institution change. Spoken directly to the Dean of Faculty, those words bore truths that are as old as the presence of students of color on campus and as new as the demands of student life today.