Letters of Solidarity


Letter from President Biddy Martin

November 15, 2015

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and Families,

On Thursday night I attended a student-organized protest against racism and other entrenched forms of prejudice and inequality. The sit-in was held in Frost Library. It had started Thursday at 1 p.m. and there were several hundred people from all parts of the campus in Frost when I arrived from out of town. The gathering of students continued throughout the day on Friday and into the evening and through the night. Students have continued to gather through the weekend.

Over the course of several days, a significant number of students have spoken eloquently and movingly about their experiences of racism and prejudice on and off campus. The depth and intensity of their pain and exhaustion are evident. That pain is real. Their expressions of loneliness and sense of invisibility are heartrending. No attempt to minimize or trivialize those feelings will be convincing to those of us who have listened. It is good that our students have seized this opportunity to speak, rather than further internalizing the isolation and lack of caring they have described. What we have heard requires a concerted, rigorous, and sustained response.

The organizers of the protests also presented me with a list of demands on Thursday evening. While expressing support for their goals, I explained that the formulation of those demands assumed more authority and control than a president has or should have. The forms of distributed authority and shared governance that are integral to our educational institutions require consultation and thoughtful collaboration. When I met yesterday in my office with a small group of student organizers, I explained that I did not intend to respond to the demands item by item, or to meet each demand as specified, but instead to write a statement that would be responsive to the spirit of what they are trying to achieve--systemic changes that we know we need to make. I also talked about why apologies of the sort that were demanded would be misleading, if not downright dishonest, suggesting, as they implicitly would, that I or the College could make guarantees about things that are much larger than a single institution or group of people. Reacting immediately to strict timetables and ultimatums and speaking in the names of other people and for all times would be a failure to take our students seriously. I was asked to read this statement to students today in Frost Library and did so at noon.

Our students' activism is part of a national movement of students who are devoted to bringing about much-needed change. They are exercising a fundamental American right to freedom of speech and protest. Student protesters at Amherst have been threatened on social media with physical violence. The College police are, as always, doing their job of keeping the campus safe. And the administration will ensure that no students, faculty, or staff members are subject to retaliation for taking advantage of their right to protest.

Amherst has committed itself to equal opportunity for the most talented students from all socio-economic circumstances. That commitment involves more than assembling a diverse population of students. It includes a duty to provide a learning environment that is equally welcoming to all our students and one that is supportive of all students, faculty, and staff. When staff and faculty of color leave Amherst because they do not have faith that they can thrive here, it is a serious loss for our students and for the campus as a whole, and requires greater attention to the conditions and cultures we need to change or to create.

The College also has a foundational and inviolable duty to promote free inquiry and expression, and our commitment to them must be unshakeable if we are to remain a college worthy of the name. The commitments to freedom of inquiry and expression and to inclusivity are not mutually exclusive, in principle, but they can and do come into conflict with one another. Honoring both is the challenge we have to meet together, as a community. It is a challenge that all of higher education needs to meet.

Those who have immediately accused students in Frost of threatening freedom of speech or of making speech "the victim" are making hasty judgments. While those accusations are also legitimate forms of free expression, their timing can seem, ironically, to be aimed at inhibiting the speech of those who have struggled and now succeeded in making their stories known on campus. The shredding and removal overnight of protesters' postings, which were reported to me this morning, is, on the other hand, unacceptable behavior according to the student Honor Code.

Student protesters themselves are engaged in serious conversations about the importance of free speech and have asked themselves questions about uses of language that respect that freedom. They are also asking themselves and us how the College protects free expression while also upholding our anti-discrimination policies and our statement of Respect for Persons. Censorship and silencing are not the answer. I believe our students know that. It takes time, attention, and serious discussion to sort out and make clear how we protect free speech while also establishing norms within our communities that encourage respect and make us responsible for what we do with our freedom. That is the discussion we need to have. It must involve all members of the community--students, faculty, staff, alumni--and it must be the kind of discussion that reflects the traditions of Amherst and a liberal arts education at its best.

We agree with the students that racism and other deeply entrenched forms of prejudice and inequality continue to affect our institutions and our culture as a whole. And we acknowledge that our efforts to achieve a more inclusive and egalitarian environment are insufficient. I could not be sadder about the pain that many of our students are feeling or more determined to meet their demand for change. We are committed not only to continuing the efforts we are already making, but also to stepping up the work that needs to be done in order to:

1) build a more diverse staff and faculty, with more aggressive recruitment and effective hiring and retention strategies;

2) support our faculty as they develop innovative ways of teaching our students;

3) ensure that faculty, staff, and students have opportunities and incentives to develop their analysis and understanding of the issues our students are raising;

4) acknowledge and support the work done by those staff and faculty who are primary sources of support for low-income students and students of color;

5) consider what messages our symbols send;

6) provide more opportunities for conversation, collaboration, and shared responsibility in the classroom and in residential life for students from different backgrounds;

7) make sure that students, staff, and faculty find a mix of physical spaces and opportunities for social interaction, some of which will provide comfort and familiarity and others of which will put us in a position that challenges us and guarantees our growth; and

8) as we did in response to disclosures about sexual assault and the College's handling of it, establish a multi-constituency committee charged with studying issues of race and racial injury and making recommendations to the administration and the Board of Trustees.

This is a list of some, but not all of what we want to do.

What is going on at Amherst right now is not at odds with our educational mission or an aberration from its course. It is part of a struggle in the direction of greater awareness, understanding, and freedom from ignorance, prejudice, and narrow ideologies. On urgent questions ranging from race to gender to war and peace, members of the Amherst community have been deeply engaged for as long as there has been such a community. The complexity of the issues is challenging, yes, but also energizing at institutions like Amherst--which is certainly flawed, as any human institution is. Like other colleges and universities, however, Amherst is also openly committed to getting better at what we do, for our students, for the larger society, and for the generations to come.

Sincerely,

Biddy Martin


Letter from Cullen Murphy, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Thank you for reaching out to me and to the board, and thank you also for the clarifications and updates in your most recent statement. The board as a whole and I personally have been following the events on campus and listening seriously and carefully. I know how deeply engaged in conversation you have been with one another and with Biddy, and all of us on the board support that process. You have raised concerns that needed to be raised. And I would like to make sure that the board is able to hear them directly. A few days ago I extended an invitation to have several students come to the board meeting in January. The idea would be to get your own assessments firsthand, and to hear your ideas--this in the form of a wide-ranging and open-ended conversation. I hope you will take us up on that invitation. I would also like to come to campus in early December, at a date to be worked out, and joined by some other trustees, again with the purpose of hearing from students firsthand. I hope we can arrange that. I'll look forward to meeting with you and others, and having the kind of discussion that you have already been having with Biddy, with the aim of helping to address the serious issues that need to be addressed. And I'm grateful to you for making your voices heard.

Sincerely,
Cullen Murphy, Chair, Board of Trustees

Department of Black Studies

Dear students, 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.

First, we want to recognize, applaud, and express the deepest respect for the courage it took to say all of that. To stand still with a strong voice and speak truthful things -- that is no easy thing. We are humbled by your will to say your piece. Your demands to be heard and seen are righteous. Do not forget that. Second, we heard those demands as a department and we are reminded of how central they are to our mission. Your words remind us of our purpose here as teachers, fellow campus citizens, as a department, and comrades in the struggle for racial justice here at the College and in the wider world from which we all come.

Racial justice on this campus, and this is true of the same in our wider world, requires full-court press. That is, our demands and conscience must press on everything and everyone who touches lives -- faculty, staff, administrators, fellow students. That is exhausting work. We hope you all draw strength from those numbers in Frost. And as your work moves through its next phases, please know that we in Black Studies have your back.

In solidarity,

John Drabinski, Chair
Rowland Abiodun
Rhonda Cobham-Sander
Jeff Ferguson
Mitzi Goheen
Alec Hickmott
Mary Hicks
Karla Keyes
Solsi del Moral
Hilary Moss
Khary Polk

Peer Advocates of Sexual Respect

Today we stand in solidarity with Amherst College's students, staff, and faculty of color and all students of color at colleges and universities across the nation that have felt threatened on campus. We are humbled by the strength and courage of those individuals who have spoken, and continue to speak, at the ongoing sit-in in Frost. Sexual Respect Education and the Peer Advocates of Sexual Respect support the goal of eradicating racism on this campus, both structurally and interpersonally. We recognize that all too often gender-based violence is also racially motivated and that the already harmful effects of sexual violence are compounded by the structural racism that further harms victims. We want to do our part in addressing that problem. To that end we strive to change culture around the intersections of race-and-gender based violence. This is only the beginning of an extended effort to address these problems, but we want to express our solidarity with student efforts towards changing these structures.


Women's and Gender Center, Multicultural Resource Center, Queer Resource Center

Dear friends of the WGC, MRC & QRC, Today we stand in solidarity with Amherst College's students, staff, and faculty of color and all students of color at colleges and universities across the nation that have felt threaten on campus. We will be closing the Queer Resource Center, Multicultural Resource Center, and Women's & Gender Center from 1-2pm to encourage you all to join us in Frost Library-1st floor for a sit-in. The Queer Resource Center, Multicultural Resource Center, and Women's & Gender Center will re-open at 2pm and serve as a safe space for community building and discussion. We will have refreshments, wings and cider donuts.

In solidarity,

The WGC, MRC, & QRC

Amherst United Left

Dear Amherst College students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni,
The Amherst United Left stands in solidarity with students of color protesting at Missouri, Yale, Ithaca, Claremont McKenna, and right here at Amherst College. As an organization founded on decidedly anti-racist principles, we deplore the violence leveled against people of color across the world, and support the movement to dismantle systemic racism. We also lament the administration's unacceptable silence on issues of race both in the wider academic realm and in our own classrooms and residence halls.

The Amherst United Left supports the demands drawn up by student organizers today, and aspires to serve as a resource, space, and organizing platform for students who have experienced oppression and/or desire to call for systemic change on campus.

In solidarity,

Amherst United Left

Amherst College Black Alumni Listserv

We, the members of the Amherst College Black Alumni Listserv, commend the students and student organizations that have taken peaceful action through the November 12-13 sit-in at Robert Frost Library and the ensuing list of demands put forth by Amherst Uprising to insist that Amherst "become a leader in the fight to promote a better social climate towards individuals who have been systematically oppressed".

We urge President Martin and the Board of Trustees to hear the students’ voices and to take the necessary steps to ensure Amherst College is a campus of inclusion, from top to bottom: in its admissions office, in its classrooms, and hallways, and in all of the ways in which the College develops and extends value in it's educational mission throughout the world.

Students of Amherst; we hear you, we support you, we applaud you.

Sincerely,

Amherst College Black Alumni Listserv

The Amherst College Department of English

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni,

We in the Department of English were moved and powerfully affected by the students of color and their allies who spoke at the Frost Library sit-in on Thursday afternoon, and by the continuing political action and engagement of the #AmherstUprising movement. The intelligence, emotional bravery, and sensitivity of Amherst students who have chosen not only to "stand in solidarity with black college students nationwide who experience the daily effects of white supremacy in academia," but also to expose racism on our own campus and to demand change, is breath-taking and inspiring. Moreover, the call for change on campus they are issuing is important and timely.

In response, the Department of English would like to voice our support for the #AmherstUprising campaign. Members of our community have expressed their pain and suffering in no uncertain terms. We stand with them and believe it is up to all of us to find ways to move toward healing and toward racial equality and inclusivity on campus. We would like to affirm our commitment to racial justice on campus and beyond, to raising consciousness about matters of race, and to redressing the long history of racial discrimination on campus that continues to have very real effects on all of us. We hope that as a community we can move toward a more authentic embrace of the value of diversity.

As English professors, we believe in the power of art to open our eyes to the human dimension in systems of power and oppression, and to offer prospects of a free life we might not have known before. An English professor's response to a freedom movement will almost always be to hand you a book, to tell you about a play, or to recommend a film. In the coming days we'll be posting titles of some of the works most important to us, including critical texts that we find to be among our most valuable tools and resources for nuanced thinking about race, power, and political change.

In Solidarity,

The Amherst College Department of English

The Amherst College Department of Physics and Astronomy

As faculty members in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, we have been moved by the anguish expressed by students at Amherst College. We admire and respect the courage with which many students have given voice, during the sit-in at Frost Library that began on November 12, 2015, to their painful experiences at the College. We join with the students and with colleagues in other departments and the administration to work with renewed urgency to understand more fully the conditions of campus life, and to take prompt institutional action to mitigate, if not eliminate, the sources of oppression that are disproportionately burdensome to students of marginalized identities.

Ashley Carter
Jonathan Friedman
David Hall
David Hanneke
Larry Hunter
Kannan Jagannathan
William Loinaz, Chair
Jason Young

The Amherst College Department of Math and Statistics

Dear students,

The outpouring of emotion at the Frost Library Sit-in has been intense and moving, and we greatly respect the courage needed to come forward to speak about your experiences. We, as a Department, are strongly committed to fostering an environment where students from underrepresented groups are supported, feel nourished and respected, and can thrive and succeed. We stand with you against bias and prejudice, and we hope that an open dialog on these issues will lead to a more inclusive community.

Sincerely,

Faculty in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Letter of Support from the Political Science Department

We in the department of Political Science write in support of the Amherst students who have organized the movement AmherstUprising. We share the students' hopes, aspirations and intentions of making our college as inclusive, tolerant and welcoming an institution as it can and should be.

Political Science Department, Amherst College

Department of Religion

The members of the Dept of Religion write to support our students' emphasis on justice and their right to feel safe, and we appreciate their insistence that we recognize and seek to remedy all forms of discrimination and prejudice experienced by members of our community.

Department of Computer Science

Dear Students,

We support your efforts this week to highlight the ways in which the promise of Amherst's commitment to diversity has not been fulfilled. Your individual voices have spoken powerfully about the continuing effects of racism in your lives. Both the College and its departments must do a better job of ensuring that students of every race and background have the support needed to thrive academically and to have full access to the opportunities here.

Computer science is a field in which students of color are underrepresented, both here and nationally. This is a great loss, because our field needs all the talent that it can find. As a department, we will renew our efforts to provide an environment that welcomes and enables the success of all students.

Thank you for telling your stories, for promoting justice, and for bringing together so much of campus in this cause. Your work will greatly strengthen our community for the days ahead.

Jim Glenn
Scott F. Kaplan
Catherine C. McGeoch
Lyle A. McGeoch
John E. Rager, Chair
Crystal Valentine

Department of History

Dear Students,

The Department of History supports the students in their quest for a more equitable and just society, and for the creation of a more inclusive community at the college. We have been moved, humbled, and inspired by the testimonies that students of color and their allies have shared in Frost Library over the past few days, and we take seriously their demands for addressing the various forms of structural racism, inequalities, and everyday forms of discrimination on our campus. We are committed to using our classrooms to engage with the broadest range of opinions and to better understand the entrenched problems of inequality in our society, which so often are the products of interwoven historical forces. We applaud our students for taking action on this important issue, and will continue to listen and learn as they shine a light on the struggles of marginalized people at Amherst, in the local community, and globally. This moment presents an opportunity to emerge as a more united community that values and reflects the diversity of experiences and perspectives within the Amherst College family.

Sincerely,

The Department of History

Ellen Boucher
Jun Hee Cho
Frank Couvares
Jerry Dennerline
Sergey Glebov
Adi Gordon
Alec Hickmott
Mary Hicks
Rick Lopez
Trent Maxey
Ted Melillo
Hilary Moss
Sean Redding
Monica Ringer
Tracie Rubeck
Martha Saxton
Dwaipayan Sen
John Servos
April Trask
Vanessa Walker

The Amherst College Department of Art and the History of Art

Dear Students and Amherst College Community,

We, the faculty of the Department of Art and the History of Art, write to support #AmherstUprising's efforts to bring racial equality and inclusivity for all marginalized students to Amherst College.

We have been inspired by the students' readiness to speak out against racial injustice, bias, and prejudice. We recognize these courageous undertakings as creative acts: they seek to bring into being new ways of seeing, doing, and knowing that would not otherwise evolve by ordinary processes. It is our hope that the difficult conversations that students have broached will be met with understanding and respect, and that these discussions will reverberate across campus to effect needed change. We support systemic change at the College.

For our part, the recent events have already caused us to bring a more critical eye to the materials and methods with which we teach, to acknowledge and incorporate a greater multiplicity of experiences, perspectives, histories, and practices. We welcome this challenge.

Yours in solidarity,

The Amherst College Department of Art and the History of Art

Robert Sweeney, Chair
Rowland Abiodun
Brianne Cohen
Nicola Courtright
Douglas Culhane
Wendy Ewald
Betsey Garand
David Gloman
Carol Keller
Justin Kimball
Adam Levine
Nicholas Meyer
Samuel Morse
Yael Rice
Natasha Staller

Amherst College Department of Economics

Dear Students,

We the Economics Department have been deeply saddened by the feelings of pain and experiences of discrimination and marginalization expressed by students in the Amherst Uprising movement, and we have been inspired by your courage and initiative in making your voices heard. We share your desire to make Amherst a more inclusive, welcoming, and supportive environment for students, faculty and staff. We would welcome suggestions for how we can work to that end in the Economics department, and we pledge to do our part to build a community that embraces diversity and respect, and in which all Amherst students can thrive.

Sincerely,

The Department of Economics

Brian Baisa
Daniel Barbezat
Adam Honig
Jun Ishii
Christopher Kingston
Stanislav Rabinovich
Collin Raymond
Jessica Reyes
Katharine Sims
Prakarsh Singh
Caroline Theoharides
Frank Westhoff
Geoffrey Woglom
Beth Yarbrough

Letter of Support from the Department of Chemistry

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. We decry prejudice in any form, and we recommit ourselves to the ideals and full implementation of the Amherst College Statement on Respect for Persons, which reads: Respect for the rights, dignity and integrity of others is essential for the well-being of a community. Actions by any person which do not reflect such respect for others are damaging to each member of the community and hence damaging to Amherst College. Each member of the community should be free from interference, intimidation or disparagement in the work place, the classroom and the social, recreational and residential environment. In particular--and of particular relevance at the moment--we pledge that we will not tolerate disparagement or intimidation of any student or of any member of the staff or faculty in our classrooms, laboratories, offices, and common spaces.

Richmond J. Ampiah-Bonney
Anthony C. Bishop
Joseph M. Boucher
Sandra L. Burkett
Dylan R. Donovan
Kristi Evenson-Ohr David E. Hansen
Sheila S. Jaswal
Joseph N. Kushick
Helen O. Leung
Mark D. Marshall
Shelly A. Martin
Patricia B. O’Hara
Lauren M. Reutenauer
Kenneth S. Rotondi
Catherine A. Stillerman
Elizabeth R. Young

Department of Biology

We, the faculty in the Department of Biology, have been saddened to learn of the conditions that prompted the events of the past week, and inspired by the courage and compassion that students have shown in the discussion of such difficult issues. We are deeply concerned about the prejudice and bias that many of our students face, and how challenging this has made their experience at Amherst. The Biology faculty reject any form of discrimination. We are strongly committed to fostering an environment where all students feel supported. We realize that there is much learning and work to be done, but we look forward to a meaningful dialogue with our students, with a goal of ensuring our Department is a welcoming place for everyone.

Sincerely,

Ethan Clotfelter
Steve George
Caroline Goutte
Ethan Graf
Michael Hood
Jeeyon Jeong
Rachel Levin
Jill Miller
Dominic Poccia
Alexandra Purdy
David Ratner
Ethan Temeles
Josef Trapani
Patrick Williamson

Counseling Center

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff of Amherst Uprising:

Thank you for the vulnerability you displayed in bringing to broad awareness the impacts of racism and marginalization on your lives here at Amherst. We respect, value, and support the work you are doing.

We have also heard that we at the Counseling Center have work to do of our own. We are eager to take this on as individuals and as a collective group so that we can provide better support to Amherst College students of color moving forward. Please know that we would welcome hearing your experiences of the Counseling Center, both good and bad, so that we can continue to grow individually and collectively.

We are committed to fostering our own change within the Counseling Center, to listening to your voices in an on-going way, and to joining with you to create broader, systemic change.

As a member of Student Affairs, we will work collaboratively with our campus partners to ensure we respond to you in holistic ways.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline Alvarez, Ph.D., Director
Mary Breen, Office Manager
Min Cheng, M.A., Post-Doctoral Fellow
Sarah Erickson, Psy.D., Associate Director of Clinical Services
Debra Edelman, Ph.D., Psychotherapist
Laura Fusari, LICSW
Darien McFadden, Ph.D., Psychotherapist
Bryan Mendiola, Psy.D., Psychotherapist
Zamir Nestelbaum, M.D., M.P.H., Psychiatrist
Deborah Potee, LICSW, Case Manager
Shannon Stotz, Administrative Assistant

Mental Health Education and the Student Wellness Team

Dear Amherst Community,

We stand in solidarity with the Amherst Uprising movement and with students, staff and faculty of color. We have been moved by your stories, by your courage to speak out, and by your strength. In the midst of your anger and pain, we saw the community coming together in a way we haven't seen before. We saw an outpouring of love, support and respect for each other. We share the hope that your cumulative voices are a call to action that has been heard across campus, and that together we will create an Amherst where all members of our community feel safe, welcome, supported, and valued in our full humanity. Mental Health Education and the student Wellness Team are committed to building a culture of support, and welcome your ideas, concerns and shared efforts in improving students' wellbeing.

Spanish Department

Apoyamos el esfuerzo de los estudiantes para crear un ambiente más inclusivo en Amherst College, donde todas las voces se escuchen y se respeten de la misma manera. Esperamos un futuro de diálogo y queremos formar parte del cambio.

We support the effort of the students to create a more inclusive environment at the College where all voices are respected and treated equally. We look forward to a future of dialogue and want to be part of the change.

In Solidarity,

All of us in the Spanish Department

Environmental Studies Department

The Environmental Studies Faculty support students in their call for racial equality at Amherst College. We are deeply concerned about the negative experiences, isolation and inequalities that some students endure at the college. The Environmental Studies Faculty are against discrimination of any form. We look forward to working with all students to make the College an environment where students, faculty, staff, and visitors feel included and welcome. We encourage productive dialogue on all forms of inequality and hope that this dialogue will lead to a more inclusive community at Amherst and beyond.

Ethan J. Temeles
Ethan D. Clotfelter
Rick A. Lopez
Rachel Levin
Ted Melillo
Jill Miller
Joe Moore
Anna Martini
Kate Sims
Michelle Stewart

Department of Music

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 towards 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 Amherst College Music Department

Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations

The Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations supports the students in their quest for a more equitable and just society and encourages dialogue concerning all forms of discrimination.

Sr. Lecturer Fumiko Brown
Prof. Jerry Dennerline
Sr. Lecturer Mohamed El Sawi Hassan
Sr. Lecturer Ikumi Kayama
Sr. Lecturer Weijia Li
Prof. Trent Maxey
Sr. Lecturer Kozue Miyama
Prof. Samuel C. Morse
Prof. Yael Rice
Prof. Monica Ringer
Prof. Dwaipayan Sen
Sr. Lecturer Tong Shen
Prof. Wako Tawa
Sr. Lecturer Xiaoping Teng
Prof. Timothy Van Compernolle
Christopher Williford


Assistant Professors in the STEM Departments at Amherst College

Dear students,

We are writing to express our support for the students of color and those from other marginalized backgrounds at Amherst College. We acknowledge the need for more moments in and out of our classrooms for reflection, discussion, and personal testimony related to racial bias and discrimination. We recognize that the administration must aid our efforts to improve in ways that will allow us to best support you. Support mechanisms for students, faculty, and staff need to be improved if we are all to accomplish the difficult task of removing racism and discrimination from our campus, community, and beyond. As scientists, instructors, and mentors we are committed to doing our very best in and out of our classrooms to support and stand with you and to help remove all forms of bias and prejudice.

Ever standing in support,

Ashley Carter
Michael Ching
Katherine Clemans
James R. Glenn
Ethan Graf
Deborah Holoien
Sheila Jaswal
Jeeyon Jeong
David S. Jones
Jamie Juul
EJ Kim
Megan McCarty
Julia McQuade
Yusra Naqvi
Carrie Palmquist
Alix Purdy
Michelle O Stewart
Josef Trapani
Elizabeth R. Young

Assistant Professors in the STEM Departments at Amherst College: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Geology, Mathematics & Statistics, Physics & Astronomy, and Psychology

Amherst College Department of Philosophy

Dear students,

We have been moved by your painful stories of marginalization. We admire your commitment to creating an institution in which we can all live, work, and learn in mutual respect and free from harassment and discrimination. We are deeply grateful to you for the passion, determination, and creativity with which you have engaged the community in discussion of these important matters.

Philosophy is a field in which faculty of color are under-represented nationwide. Undoubtedly, our discipline would be enriched were this not so. The Department of Philosophy at Amherst College is committed to providing a program that is compelling and welcoming to all students. We owe nothing less to you, our students, and to the discipline.

You are pushing us all to contribute to the grand project of making this institution - and by extension, our society - a more just and humane one. For that, we thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Dee Brace
Jyl Gentzler
Alexander George
Rafeeq Hasan
Joseph Moore
Nishi Shah
Jonathan Vogel

Statement of Solidarity from Students of Asian Heritage at Amherst College


We as Asian and Asian American students stand in solidarity with the movement because we are united in the grievances we experience from a lack of structural support. The multiplicity of voices we heard in the past few days are a testament to the fact that there is a desperation among the marginalized to seize this chance to speak because there are no alternative spaces for us. This points to an institutional problem that unites all people of color and allies, and with that, we see the success of this movement as a success for all involved.
The Asian community exists within a culture that stereotypes us and makes us feel invisible. This has bred ignorance and apathy for those who share our skin and for fellow peoples of color. Yesterday afternoon, the Asian student organizations on campus invited Amherst students to join a dialogue on how we, as Asian students, fit into this movement and even more so, this campus. For many of us, it was the first time we felt united with so many others of Asian heritage on this campus. What we discovered was that we felt pain and suffered stigmatization through a greater institutionalized structure that pressures the Asian community towards assimilation and the denial of our racial identity. What is evident is the urgent need for our collective representation, and our advocacy. We recognize that our experiences of oppression aren’t the same experiences of our marginalized friends and loved ones -- a reality we’ve struggled to express ourselves. The purpose of sharing our Asian and Asian American experiences now is NOT to detract from the movement but to inform, consolidate, and strengthen it, because the success of this movement is a success for every single one of the diverse voices we have seen. Asians and Asian Americans are here. We have our voice to lend - and we’ve come here to say that we stand with Amherst Uprising in committed solidarity, in an active role against racial injustice and discrimination. We don’t want this to become just one weekend of thoughtfulness - we want to reimagine the future of Amherst College as we stand with you.

Office of Religious and Spiritual Life

Dear students:

The advisors for the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life want to express our solidarity with Amherst Uprising. While we represent various traditions, we are united in our commitment to inclusion and our desire that all people are welcome and valued in our community.
We so appreciate your courage and transparency in telling your stories and challenging us as a community to live up to our ideals. We empathize with your pain and struggle. We thank you for your work and express our continuing support.

Sincerely,

Religious and Spiritual Life Advisors
Mohammed Abdelaal, Muslim Advisor
Bruce Bromberg Seltzer, Jewish Advisor
Sr. Chris Clark, DHM, Catholic Advisor
Jyl Gentzler, Humanist Advisor
Mark Hart, Buddhist Advisor
Timothy Jones, Bi-semester Christian Worship Fellow
Elizaveta Lozovaya, Muslim Advisor
Manju Sharma, Hindu Advisor
Paul Sorrentino, Director and Protestant and Multifaith Council Advisor