I’m typing this after watching one minute of Dean Spade’s speech, because I am floored by the introduction. What great context! I feel like this is a great way to frame the conversation and hold the space. I’m intrigued and grounded, which can only be a good thing!
Three minutes in, I also like the the framing of colleges and universities as political projects. I think there is a great deal of talk about ‘neutrality’ at Bryn Mawr. I think people don’t realize that it is impossible to be neutral, and especially in this environment everything is inherently political, so we might as well take the time to steer our actions in a direction that we like (aka supports marginalized groups).
And just before the ten minute mark I love how he put context to his context, by talking about how important it is to have everyone be on the same page, and for everyone to know what type of language is being used in the situation, and what that means. Not only is it effective, it also acknowledges that everyone is coming from a different place and different education, so while one person might think it’s obvious and a waste of time, another person gets to engage with the conversation more fully!
After sixteen minutes I need Dean Spade to come to Bryn Mawr. How clever and funny! But I’m also being reminded of a conversation that I’ve had about the new Dean of the College. Thinking of who we want to hire, I had a conversation with a staff member who made the distinction between someone who will make diversity and social justice (because I think diversity without social justice is useless) not a priority, but inherent in everything that they do. This echoes thoughts that I heard at the diversity conversation between the Board of Trustees members and students. Which was that we should not make diversity a goal but a value, so it cannot be put aside for something else. Also that just makes it more effective! We already have so many systems in place. We should be change them instead of adding peripheral distractions. I think that can also be related to archival work. Why have a “diversity box?” Ww can be so much moe effective and so much more progressive if we are ALWAYS thinking about these things when we are archiving instead of just doing a “general” meaning white history and then only getting people of marginalized groups later, as if they aren’t meant to be there.