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New Strengthening Vassar Website

Welcome back to campus.  I hope your travels were not too disrupted by the snowstorm. 

As we move into the new semester, I believe we will make further progress in building a community that supports everyone.  I appreciate the hard work of many on campus toward this goal, and I am very much looking forward to continuing to engage with you in this effort. 

The college has created a new website (Strengthening Vassar) to inform you of our progress on the commitments that we made in December to strengthen our community, as well as recent events and those planned for the spring that focus on dialogue across differences. We will use this as a way to continue to communicate with our community and report on progress as the semester goes on.  There will be lots of opportunities for continued discussions about how we can create a more inclusive campus, where all members are and feel valued and listened to. The timing and details of many of these events sponsored by faculty, administrators, and students are available at the Dialogue and Engagement Across Differences webpage.

Among the events coming up soon are two collaborations with the Bardavon Theatre and the City of Poughkeepsie School District to present award-winning programs that address racism. Rhapsody in Black (Friday, February 6, 7:00pm) is LeLand Gantt’s one-man play about his life as an African-American seeking to transcend racism. Through a Lens Darkly (Friday, February 20, 7:00pm) is the first documentary film to explore the critical role of photography in shaping African-American identity from slavery to the present. Both programs will be followed by a panel discussion with prominent local African-American scholars, artists, students, and community leaders. Later in the semester, Jon Lee Anderson, staff writer for The New Yorker, will hold a free public lecture for the Vassar and Poughkeepsie communities on the challenges writers face on difficult subjects under challenging conditions, whether ethnic or religious conflict, terrorism, poverty and/or disease.  

I hope you will take advantage of as many of these opportunities as possible, and continue to work with all of us who are committed to positive change.

Again, welcome back.

Catharine Hill