March 16, 2022
Dear members of the Mount Holyoke community,
Mount Holyoke’s sixth annual Building On Our Momentum (BOOM!): Community Day will take place on Tuesday, March 29, 2022. The College’s efforts to expand the vision for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) have been initiated by many student activist movements over the years.
It feels particularly poignant to engage with BOOM! while there are issues of injustice occurring around the globe. Our speakers will challenge us to think more deeply about dismantling the racial hierarchy with a robust understanding of the deep histories of anti-Indigenous racism, anti-Asian racism, anti-Blackness, antisemitism, Islamophobia and xenophobia. We will expand our knowledge competencies around ableism, gender-based oppression and violence. We have also created healing and restorative spaces for caregivers, parents and those dealing with various forms of stress and trauma due to past and current crises. We hope all of the sessions will help everyone to focus on their own learning, healing and development.
Speakers include some of our very own students, staff and faculty alongside activists, artists and scholars from around the country. Many of our virtual events are open to Five College community members and alums as well as the general public. I invite you to join us for plenary sessions including the opening panel entitled “Sovereignty and Self-Determination in Indian Country,” moderated by Rachel Beth Sayet; the panel “Where Past Meets Present: A Conversation on the Roots of Antisemitism,” moderated by Mara Benjamin; the opening keynote entitled “Let Trans Kids Play: Protecting Trans Lives On and Off the Field,” with Chris Mosier and closing keynote “Affirmation, Love and Freedom — A Night of Poetry and Dialogue,” with Fatimah Asghar and Safia Elhillo. There are also many prerecorded sessions that you can view on your own time, and we know that these can be incredibly powerful opportunities for self-development.
The team in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion welcomes your feedback on this year’s sessions and topics! I am personally inspired that we are able to develop these opportunities for coalition building and allyship rooted in co-liberation with each session co-created at BOOM!
Every day, I am grateful to be in community with each of you.