The founders of the Bryn Mawr College Branch of the Mountaintop Coalition stand in full support of the Open Letter to the Departments of Bryn Mawr College Department of Greek, Latin and Classical Studies and The Haverford College Department of Classics (linked here). We stand in full support of #BLACK LIVES MATTER and against racism, police brutality, and the prison industrial complex.
We would especially like to highlight the resources for Black people listed within so that any of our community members who need it can seek help. We are also here as a resource for those who need space to talk or help finding more resources- please contact us through our contact form or reach out to one of us personally:
We would also like to reiterate the demands laid out within the open letter here with the acknowledgement that this is the bare minimum the departments can and must do to enact real positive change:
- Hire Black classicists. Hire tenure-track Black classicists. Pay them for the mentorship of students of color they will inevitably be tasked with.
- Ban all-white finalist lists for faculty appointments.
- Be more transparent with students about the hiring process.
- Accept and retain more Black and graduate students of Color
- Invite more BIPoC people to speak at colloquium.
- All Faculty must undergo a MANDATORY racial sensitivity training as well as a workshop on transphobia. This includes Graduate students who will be instructing undergraduates.
- Work with the Pensby Center and the Mellon Mays program to become an anti-racist department
- Work with librarians to include more diverse scholars and scholarship in every course curriculum.
- Compensate student labor. It has been a noticeable point of contention for years that the students of the department are the ones to push for and execute any efforts to foster equity and diversity within the field. The faculty of the Departments does less than the bare minimum to support them, especially when it comes to showing up to planned events. Stop forcing students to do all the work themselves. You must play an active part in the growth of the departments yourselves as well as pay students who do labor.
- Cut discretionary costs (a good place to start is the colloquium food budget) from the departmental budget and direct that money to materially support students.
- Financially and materially support the Bryn Mawr Branch of the Mountaintop Coalition.
- Support and check-in with students when they are abroad.
- All graduating or transferring Undergraduates and Graduate students must be invited to participate in an exit interview performed by the department and they MUST be able to choose which professor interviews them.
- Add a section on the website for resources to help students of color including such organizations as The Sportula, Women’s Classical Caucus, Asian and Asian American Classical Caucus, Eos Africana, The Mountaintop Coalition, Lambda Classical Caucus, Classics and Social Justice and others.
- Periodically update the website with actions that have been taken and make sure to let the students and alumni know so that you can be held accountable for any future missteps.
- Listen and work with students of color who bring issues to your attention.
- Change the name of the departments to Ancient Mediterranean Studies.
18. Issue and circulate widely a new statement from the department via email and social media. This will be a response to our open letter, which outlines the departments’ plans to meet the demands laid out and acknowledge their history of discrimination and inequity.
We revoke permission for the use of our names or likeness in connection to the departments’ social media, publishing, or websites without express consent and upon proof that the department has enacted substantive change.
In light of this letter we have realized the disservice our unfinished website causes and will work to update the resources and opportunity tabs periodically to uplift our community. We will also create ways for our allies to donate directly to us so that we can provide micro grants for our community members to help with anything from living expenses, emergency situations, and or projects they would like to undertake but cannot get departmental funding for. Please be on the look out for this in the near future. In the meantime, we strongly suggest anyone (graduate or undergraduate) in need of financial assistance in the form of micro grants reach out to Sportula (the Americas), Sportula Europe, or the Black Trowel (archaeology) to receive micro grants from 5-300$.
For our gradate student members, the WCC/SCS has created a Covid 19 relief fund where you can apply for up to 500$. More info here: http://wccaucus.org/covid-19-relief-fund/
Wynter Pohlenz Telles Douglas
Co-founder and 2018/19 Co-coordinator of MTC@BMC
B.A in Classical Languages from Bryn Mawr College, Mellon Mays Fellow, Bryn Mawr College Community Honor Roll 2019, 2019 Recipient of the Careers in Library & Information Science Fellowship and the Michigan Humanities Emerging Research Scholars Fellowship,
Danielle J Perry
Co-founder, co-coordinator, and President of MTC@BMC
B.A. Princeton University, M.A. Columbia University,
Current PhD Candidate in Ancient History at Upenn
Leah F. Bórquez
Co-founder, co-coordinator, and Vice President of MTC@BMC
Double Major in History with concentrations in Gender and sexuality, mental health and Iberian and ancient history and Classical Studies, BMC ’20
Sashini Jayamani Kannan
Co-founder and 2018/19 Co-coordinator of MTC@BMC
B.A. in Classical Culture and Society and Psychology Minor in Russian
Eta Sigma Phi Honor Society
Founder of Old Church Slavonic Reading Group
Leah Packard Grams
Classical Languages, Bryn Mawr College ’20,
Co-founder and 2018/19 Co-Coordinator of MTC@BMC
UC Berkeley PhD candidate
Treasurer and Classical Studies Graduate Student Liaison of MTC@BMC
B.A. Willamette University, and Current M.A. Candidate in Classical Studies