Earlham responds to U.S. presidential election
November 16, 2016
Updated: November 18, 2016
President David Dawson has joined more than 100 college presidents from the Annapolis Group in signing an open letter to President-Elect Donald Trump.
The letter urges Trump to condemn and work to prevent harassment, hate, and acts of violence — forcefully and unequivocally. The Annapolis Group comprises about 130 leading national independent liberal arts colleges that have similar interests and concerns centering on the values of liberal arts education that inform their missions.
In the days following the 2016 presidential election, Earlham College has worked to create spaces for reflection on the election results. The College made a special effort to offer support to those who feel threatened after a particularly divisive election season.
The College sponsored a gathering time for reflection in Stout Meetinghouse at noon Wednesday, Nov. 9. Later that afternoon, many community members gathered on The Heart, the grassy area at the center of campus, to sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a hymn that is sometimes referred to as the African-American national anthem, and “How Can I Keep From Singing,” a song associated with the Quaker tradition, which is also the signature piece for Earlham’s choirs. Additionally, other student groups have sponsored dialogue on campus.
The Diversity Progress Committee — a group of faculty, staff and students charged with offering counsel and leadership related to diversity issues — released a statement to the campus community that same day. It read, in part, “We on the Diversity Progress Committee want to give voice to our deep care for all here at the College at this defining moment. Community can be built in moments of strong disagreement; we invite all of us to work together respectfully, to see the good in one another even as we might experience distrust and fear. Let us live into becoming the national and global model that Earlham aspires to be.”
Dawson, speaking on behalf of the senior staff, wrote, “As members of the senior administration, we too offer our deep care for all members of our community, and we seek to work together with all to see the good in one another despite our differences, while we work against the marginalization of historically vulnerable communities. We too seek to foster a truly welcoming inclusivity here on campus, and we hope we can all join together in doing so, even as we work through strong, complex and powerful emotions. As we challenge, encourage and support one another in many different ways, we are confident that the College will continue its commitment to its most fundamental values of respect for persons, community, peace and justice, simplicity, and integrity.”
As one of the most diverse colleges in the United States, with students of various backgrounds from nearly 50 states and 60 countries, Earlham’s students, faculty members, and staff are always keenly aware of the political climate in this country and abroad. Earlham will continue to foster discussion, reflection, and activism among members of its community as the United States transitions to a new presidential administration.
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Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. Earlham is one of only 40 national liberal arts colleges ranked among U.S. News and World Reports' "Great Schools at a Great Price."
Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at 765-983-1256 and firstname.lastname@example.org.