President Spencer’s invitation to alumni: the Diversity Dialogues

Diversity Dialogues, Short Term 2013

Reply to: diversitydialogues AT bates DOT edu

April 26, 2013

Dear Bates Alumni,

We have an opportunity to think collectively about diversity at Bates. The dissolution of the Multicultural Center in 2010 had a profound effect on the Bates Community. As we look forward to conducting a search for the new director of the office currently called the Office of Intercultural Education, I want to provide a space where we can talk about diversity, identify components of the Multicultural Center and OIE we value and want to carry forward, and create a shared vision for the future.

To accomplish this, Associate Professor of Psychology Krista Aronson, Manager of Sustainability Initiatives and Lecturer in Environmental Studies Julie Rosenbach, Jourdan Fanning ’14, Rachel Spence ’14, and Graeme Welds ’15 have generously agreed to facilitate a series of open campus conversations for the campus community during the Short Term. The goal of these conversations, which we call “Diversity Dialogues,” will be to learn about the experiences and vision of students, faculty, and staff.

As part of this discussion, we hope to hear from you, our Bates College alumni, about your experiences with diversity on campus and suggestions you may have as we move forward. Please feel free to send any thoughts, but we are particularly interested in hearing what you have to say about the following:

What did you value as a student? Where can Bates improve? What is your vision of an inclusive future for the college? What would you like to see carried forward from our past and present offices of diversity? What do you think the next director of the Office currently called the Office of Intercultural Education should know? What types of qualities and experience do you think they should have? What do you think this office should be called?

The topics and themes that emerge from the campus dialogues and feedback from alumni will directly inform the mission of the office, as well as the job description for its next director.

These conversations are important to our campus, and they are also very important to me. I am eager to have our community reclaim and fashion for the present and future Bates’ compelling history and narrative of inclusion. We have set up a dedicated email for members of the Bates community, so feel free to send your confidential thoughts to diversity dialogues AT bates DOT edu. Together with our Diversity Dialogues group, I will also be in conversation with the Alumni Council, which is deeply invested in matters of diversity and inclusion on campus.

All best,