Five years ago, the Asian Students Alliance (ASA) and South Asian Students Association (SASA) created #ThisIs2016, which took the internet by storm. After remembering the series five years since its conception, Cheng Xing ’23 proposed the ASA’s Affinity Group Photo Project, an iteration of #ThisIs2016, in hopes of providing a platform for members of Bowdoin affinity groups to express themselves on campus.
On Monday evening, as the sun began to dip below the horizon, hundreds of students, faculty and staff gathered on the quad in front of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. On the Museum steps stood leaders of the Asian Students Alliance (ASA), other students who identify as Asian and Pacific Islander (API), faculty and staff affiliated with the Office of Inclusion and Diversity and individuals and groups of allies, including the Native American Student Association (NASA) and the Black Student Union (BSU).
Bowdoin Dialogues, a group led by Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Inclusion and Diversity Eduardo Pazos and Associate Dean of Students for Inclusion and Diversity Kate Stern, launched its most recent series of discussions focusing on issues surrounding race and class this week.
Outlining what has been done and what needs to be done, Athletic Department releases DEI Action Plan update
On February 18, the Bowdoin Athletic Department released the first semesterly update to its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Action Plan. The document has two sections: one outlining what they’ve done since mid-October when the DEI Committee first released its plan, and a second on a future plans.
With the return of upperclass students to campus, the Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) has resumed COVID-19-conscious excursions and opened applications for its Leadership Training (LT) program, an intensive program that prepares students to lead trips. Beyond limiting possible trip locations, COVID-19 has also impacted the BOC’s internal operations.
Programming for this year’s Black History Month opened with a dialogue between three prominent alumni. This conversation, a reflection on the history, barriers and foundational principles of the Harlem Children’s Zone, was moderated by President Clayton Rose and featured founders of the Harlem’s Children’s Zone Geoffrey Canada ’74 H’07, George Khaldun ’73 and Stanley Druckenmiller ’75 H’07.
Isabel Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and critically acclaimed author, presented a talk over Zoom on the evening of November 12 about her newest book, titled “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.” The event, sponsored by the Bowdoin Office of Events and Summer Programs and the Donald M.
On Wednesday, Senior Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Michael Reed announced the first College-wide action on racial justice: a Bowdoin-sponsored online learning program about diversity, equity and inclusion. This course is required for all faculty, staff, students and trustees.
The Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) has unanimously approved and released an Anti-Racism Action Plan with hopes of pushing the Museum towards greater equity and inclusion. “This statement represents a recommitment on the part of everybody who’s a member of the [BCMA] staff since everybody had an opportunity to read drafts and contribute recommendations,” said Frank Goodyear, co-director of the BCMA, in a Zoom interview with the Orient.
Cara Drinan ’96, a professor of law at the Catholic University of America, joined Bowdoin students and faculty on October 7 for a virtual discussion titled “Race, Crime and COVID-19.” Drinan has become a prominent figure in the battle for criminal justice reform, specializing in the right to counsel and juvenile sentencing.
The College is adding a seventh designation to the Alumni Fund called Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). In conjunction with this expansion, an anonymous alumni donor will donate an additional $100 to the DEI designation for every donation given to the Alumni Fund between October 5 and 11.
This fall, a group of students is engaging in a six-week workshop series called “Race, Power, Oppression, and Liberation.” Responding to students’ interest in engaging in racial justice work at Bowdoin and beyond, the workshop will meet weekly to discuss personal identity and power, institutional and social systems of oppression, anti-racist work and liberation.
The Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good is hiring a student antiracism fellow for the first time this year and re-evaluating their programming and leadership structures to incorporate more voices of people of color. Over the summer, McKeen Center staff created an antiracism subcommittee, composed of Sarah Seames, director of the McKeen Center, Andrew Lairde, associate director of service and leadership and Avery Friend, administrative coordinator, to reassess the Center as a whole.
Bowdoin’s athletic department held a mandatory discussion on race for all athletic teams last Wednesday. While it was a first step to getting everyone involved with Bowdoin athletics on the same page about race and the language surrounding race, many students felt as though it didn’t address key problems in the athletic department—most prominently, that of privilege.
On Wednesday, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) hosted the first installment of “Art Up Close”—a five-part series where students, staff and faculty come together to discuss art. The first webinar brought together 20 community members to discuss “Protest Art and Black Lives Matter.” Claire Traum ’21 and Lucy Siegel ’22, two members of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art Advisory Council, developed the idea after gaining experience with webinars during summer opportunities.
“This is a time to come together”: sailing conference changes rules to formalize mandatory discussions on race
Channeling the momentum for racial justice activism sparked by the killing of George Floyd this May in Minneapolis, Preston Anderson ’22, a member of the Bowdoin sailing team, led the charge to change his conference’s bylaws and to implement mandatory race relations training in the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA).
On Sunday, the Athletes of Color Coalition (AoCC) released a list of demands for diversity reform in the athletic department. These include mandated race education for teams and an athletics-specific bias reporting process. The AoCC began circulating a petition, which invites community members to express support for these demands.
Sparked by the murder of George Floyd in police custody in late May, students, faculty, staff and alumni at predominantly white colleges and universities created Instagram pages to provide community members of color the opportunity to share their experiences with racism at their respective institutions.
In an email to the campus community on Wednesday, President Clayton Rose provided an update on the College’s plan for anti-racist work in the upcoming months. “I am writing to follow up on my message of June 11 about our work ahead on race and racism,” Rose wrote.
For many athletes, the community they find in their team is one of the most rewarding aspects of their Bowdoin experience. For some athletes of color, though, their teams have not been a supportive community. Instead, bias incidents have continued to arise, and discussions about race have fallen by the wayside.