When I asked Alejandro Niño if there was anything I should know about him, he said that he hoped he was considered a good friend. According to Siena Koh ’18, there is no doubt that this hope has come to fruition.

“Alejandro is just simply one of the best people I know and an important person in my life,” Koh said. “He’s not only one of my best friends but the best friend anyone could ask for.”

Charles Hamilton Houston Visiting Scholar Mark Anthony Neal gave a talk titled “Love in the Stax: Death, Loss and Resurrection in Post-King Memphis” on Thursday, April 5 in the Center for Humanistic Inquiry. The event was hosted by the black studies department and supported by the Charles Hamilton Houston Lecture Fund.

Forty Amherst students travelled to Washington D.C. to participate in the national March For Our Lives on March 24. The trip, which was sponsored by the Amherst College Democrats, called on policymakers to enact stronger gun control legislation.

The Washington D.C. march was organized by victims of the Feb. 14 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The massacre, one of the deadliest school shootings in the nation’s history, killed 17 people and injured 14 others.

A group of people are situated in a circle on the stage of Kirby Theater. They hold their arms out in a dance position.

The theater and dance department debuted the African American Dance Symposium on Feb. 16. The symposium, which is free and open to the public, consists of master classes, film screenings and lectures leading up to a two-day conference on April 13 and 14.

The symposium was organized by theater and dance visiting scholar Ninoska M’bewe Escobar, whose speciality in African-American dance brought new offerings to the department.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz spoke to the college community on March 2 in Johnson Chapel. The event was a part of Lit Fest, a three-day literary festival that celebrates the college’s literary history by inviting distinguished writers to campus. Lit Fest is sponsored by Amherst College-affiliated literary magazine The Common, the Emily Dickinson Museum and the Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI).

Food justice activist and farmer Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm spoke on Thursday, Feb. 8 in Stirn Auditorium about the intersection of racial and environmental injustice and the food industry. The event was sponsored by the Office of Environmental Sustainability, the Victor S. Johnson Lectureship fund and the Multicultural Resource Center.

President Biddy Martin announced the college’s membership to the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration in an email to the college community on Wednesday, Jan. 17. Her email follows the Alliance’s Dreamer Fly-In, a conference in Washington, D.C. at which college and university presidents urged Congress to pass legislation protecting Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and are protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).