Responding to a question, she talked about how it is problematic to think of only certain groups of people as being diverse, it creates an “us versus them” mentality which usually ends with the “them” walking away. I’m a big fan of acknowledging the ways in which we are all “diverse” (though that sounds so weird, to be like “you’re diverse”). Fletcher Blanchard (current director of the Office of Institutional Diversity) pointed out ... damn, i should have taken better notes at this.... something about how that’s true but that there are also groups who are more oppressed than others and that should be acknowledged and dealt with appropriately, i dunno, something like that, that sounded sensible and intelligent and with which i rather agreed. (This is why i take notes when i go to these things. Because when i trust myself to remember -- like i did today -- i so don’t.)
Most of the questions focused on racial diversity, but one student mentioned the treatment of Republicans, an Ada i had seen at one of the fat talks mentioned women of size (she said that one woman, upon visiting Smith, said “Oh, you have regular-looking people here,” because the college literature presents a very specific image), and one student mentioned economic diversity (as deeply connected to racial diversity, but still).
So yeah, not awesome, but i was rather pleased.
Please attend a Diversity Lecture, Video, and Panel Discussion at 4:30 on Friday, April 30 in the Neilson Browsing Room.I think i’m actually going to that.
Brenda Allen, Associate Provost at Brown University and former Director of Institutional Diversity at Smith College, will speak about the diversity challenges that came into focus during the spring of 2002 and introduce a showing of the Grassroots Video. Panelists Amelia Kegan, SGA President, Eva Haldane '04, and Maureen Mahoney, Dean of the College, will comment and Jennifer Walters, Dean of Religious Life, will moderate discussion involving panelists and members of the audience.