I wish that every day was Saturday and every month was October.-Charmaine J. Forde

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October 2021

Directors Note:

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The leaves are changing and it will not be long before the purple hills are ablaze with reds and oranges and golds. A piece of me is internally yelling, “I’m not ready!!” while another reflects, “oh, but it will be so beautiful.” the side that wins is the side you feed, so...Time to break out the hot chocolate and go apple picking!! Bring on the apple cider donuts!!

It’s Global Diversity Awareness Month! Let’s all take a little time to read something written by and about a marginalized group.  If you would like to focus on issues faced, one such issue is equal pay. There are multiple days reminding us to focus on equal pay this month. October 1st was Native Women’s Equal Pay Day and October 29th is Latinx Women’s Equal Pay Day.

This month we continue to celebrate latinx heritage month. Check out events in the programming section below and keep reading your Daily Messages for more offerings on and around campus! 

next monday is National Indigenous Peoples Day. We at the DC want to spread awareness of Indigenous people and needs through more than just one day, so stay tuned for our programs and events!

This month we also celebrate Disability Employment Awareness, both National Coming Out Day (10/11) and International Pronouns Day (10/20), World Mental Health Day (10/10) and sundown to sundown on October 18-19 is Eid Milad un-Nabi, an Islamic holiday commemorating the birthday of the prophet Muhammad. There’s so much to celebrate and learn!!

In this month's newsletter we invite you to meet our new Community Engagement Fellows and highlight some great events! Read on!!



Community Engagement Fellows (CEF)


The DC Community Engagement Fellows are a Davis Center-trained, peer-to-peer diversity education, and mentoring group. Trained extensively by The Davis Center team, Community Engagement Fellows work closely with The DC Team and are part of The Davis Center’s effort to provide education for the campus on issues of identity, power, and privilege in order to build a more inclusive community. Community Engagement Fellows co-facilitate workshops, hold office hours, form partnerships across the campus, and work on independent capstone projects. Each month we will highlight a couple of the amazing CEF's that the DC has been fortunate enough to get to work with.



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Dear Davis Center Times Readership,

My name is Aseel Abulhab, and I'm the Assistant Director of the DC. Welcome to Williams Signs! I discovered a passion for sign language and working with the D/deaf community at the end of high school, and have since had the opportunity to finish a complete course in ASL, attend a summer course at Gallaudet University, and undertake two international fellowships devoted to deaf access to education.

Each newsletter, I will share content related to sign language and/or D/deaf culture. If you have any additional questions or want to engage on the subject, please reach out to me at aa9. Happy signing!

This week, check out The Record's piece on the work being done at the College to make American Sign Language part of the Critical Language program. It will reveal to you the origins of the name "Williams Signs!"


What does the phrase “ragtime music” call to your mind? Old-timey music on an out-of-tune piano? A steady, plodding bass with a syncopated melody? Ragtime might seem innocuous now, but in the early twentieth century, some white music critics were panicking about it. They worried that ragtime might erode the social fabric of the United States.

Leo Oehmler, writing in The Musical Observer of 1914, was one such pearl-clutcher. He claimed that “Ragtime music may be aptly termed ‘Diseased Music’ or ‘Music for Paranoics,’ for its tendency to befuddle the mind and to excite the nervous system and lower the moral conceptions.” This sentence might not seem to have much to do with race, but like most discussions of popular music in the US, it does. Knowing that ragtime was created by Black musicians makes it clear who Oehmler is implying might be “Diseased” and “Paranoic.” And Oehmler’s invocation of a low moral standard invokes a persistent, racist idea about Black people.

So next time you read a critical review of a new album, song, or genre, take a moment to consider how ideas about social identity might be at play. That hot take might be hiding something you don’t want to miss.


I know I am not alone so I will admit it...sometimes people piss me off. When it happens, the problem is that I keep thinking about it when I need to focus on other things. I really need to let it go. What has helped lately is writing it out. Yes, spending a few minutes writing who I am mad at and why I am so frustrated has worked wonders. I can get back to my day and stop ruminating about what transpired. I can have my mind back!

So, your self-care challenge this month is to give ‘writing it out’ a try. If someone ‘pushes your buttons’ or maybe something else (as opposed to someONE else) is frustrating you, take a little time to write about how you are feeling. What happened? Your journaling is only for your eyes so go ahead and name the person and circumstances. How does it make you feel? What do you wish you could say but didn’t or can’t? Get it all out! And then, when you are ready, take a deep breath and set it aside. 

Want to go deeper? After you have written out your frustrations at least a few times, take a little time to reflect. Read what you put down. Are there trends? Were you worried about something that never came to pass? Is there someone you should be minimizing your interactions with? Consider what you can do and find a way to move forward, even if what you can do is more about the way you feel than any action that would address the issue.

Want to learn more? This article goes deeper into the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of helping yourself through writing your emotions. 

Want to talk about it?  I’d be happy to talk! I have office hours on Wednesdays from 1-3 pm but you can also consider creating your own self-care check-in group!

Be Well,


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Hi Friends:

A few editions of this newsletter back, I told folk about a friend of mine who happens to be solo-hiking the AT and I thought as we move toward the end of the NOBO (NOrth BOund) hiking window, that I'd give you an update on how that hiker is doing.

To put it succinctly: Dragonsky is doing great! To put it verbosely: Dragonsky had numerous moments to stare fear in the face, push through excruciating pain and fatigue, and more than a handful of disturbing interactions with others. But the adventurer also has overcome obstacles previously deemed impossible; proved to themselves that they are strong and that their will can take them anywhere. Additionally, the brave adventurer saw countless stunning sunrises and sunsets. Lifelong friendships have been created; random interactions with kind souls experienced: good and bad, the trail has reflected life.

The impetus for my friend to hike is because this person want to see more folk like them out in nature and to help inspire others to pack their bags and conquer some fears AND mountains. In doing so, Dragonsky has encountered all the "isms," as a bipoc LGBTQ+ solo hiker--but she/they'll also tell you about all the wonderful 'trail angels' have been encountered.

Check out their adventures and cheer as Dragonsky races winter to the top of Mount Katahdin! Dragonsky will also be presenting a virtual event in November with the Davis Center--we will keep you posted--you won't want to miss this amazing soul--Dragonsky will be leaving time for your questions, whether they're about racism, recipes, or rating best tent brands.

Click here to learn more about the DC team including office hours




Join The Davis Center at Images Cinema on Spring Street for our Fall Social Change Film Series! These events are free and open to the students, staff, faculty, and the general public.

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Salt of the Earth

Tuesday, 10-05-2021, 7:30pm

IMAGES CINEMA, Williamstown MA


Film Synopsis: At New Mexico’s Empire Zinc mine, Mexican-American workers protest the unsafe work conditions and unequal wages compared to their Anglo counterparts. Ramon Quintero (Juan Chacon) helps organize the strike, but he is shown to be a hypocrite by treating his pregnant wife, Esperanza (Rosaura Revueltas), with a similar unfairness. When an injunction stops the men from protesting, however, the gender roles are reversed, and women find themselves on the picket lines while the men stay at home.


If Beale Street Could Talk

Tuesday, 11-03-2021, 7:30pm

IMAGES CINEMA, Williamstown MA


On November 3, 7:30 PM: If Beale Street Could Talk, with a talkback facilitated by Dr. Ricardo Wilson (Assistant Professor of English) and students from his class, “James Baldwin and his Interlocutors.”

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Are you eager to learn about investing? Or are interested in non-profits and want to understand how endowments support their mission?  Have you thought about a potential career in finance, and want to learn the difference between asset management and investment banking? 


The Williams College Investment Office’s student programs are for you! We welcome all students to apply to our programs, including those without any economics or finance experience!


The Investment Office looks for passionate, smart, and intellectually curious people of all academic, professional, and personal backgrounds. As part of Williams College, we are dedicated to the college’s principles of building a diverse and inclusive community in which members of all backgrounds can live, learn, and thrive. 


This fall, we are recruiting two students for our 2022, paid ten-week Summer Investment Analyst position and 10 students for our on-campus winter study class Econ 23 – Investing with Purpose: The Planning and Practice of Endowment Investing


These programs are designed to introduce students to investing and equip students with key industry knowledge and skills, while also providing the opportunity to support the college.


The Investment Office:

The Investment Office is based in Boston and invests the college’s over $3.5 billion endowment to provide support for current and future generations of students. 

  1. The endowment is critical to the college, supporting over 50% of annual operations (e.g. financial aid, compensation, construction).
  2. Since inception of the Investment Office, the endowment’s outperformance over its benchmark has exceeded the financial aid budget for those academic years.
  3. The endowment is invested globally and the summer investment analyst role and winter study class are generalist opportunities, providing broad exposure to and experience in institutional investing.


How to Apply:

The summer investment analyst application deadline is Wednesday, October 6th at Noon, and applications include a resume, cover letter, and transcript. We will be hosting a virtual information session at 5pm on Monday, September 27th for students interested in learning more. Applications and details about the information session are on Handshake.


To apply to the winter study class, please email your resume (if available) and a short personal statement discussing your interest in the course and what you hope to gain from it to investmentoffice@williams.edu by midnight on Sunday, October 24th. We will be hosting a virtual information session at 5pm on Tuesday, September 28th for students interested in learning more about this opportunity; details are on Handshake.


Have questions or want to learn even more? Please see Handshake to sign up for a Zoom chat with one of our analysts.

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Dively Committee seeking members

Are you interested in supporting LGBTQ+ life on the Williams campus? The Dively Committee for Human Sexuality and Diversity is seeking new members. The Dively Committee plans events such as Rainbow Graduation, co-sponsors events that address questions of gender and sexuality, and funds summer opportunity grants. The committee is open to faculty, staff, and students, and we’d love to meet you! If you are interested, please reach out to Aly Corey (awc5) for more information.

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LGBTQ+ Online Dating and Safety

October 5 @ 7:30

Join the Elizabeth Freeman Center and Williams College Sexual Assault Prevention & Response for a discussion on how queer people can safely navigate using apps like Tinder or Grindr, meeting up in person, ending a date, dating long distance, and communicating boundaries. Free and open to anyone ages 16-24!

Click here to RSVP!

BiGLATA Presents LGBTQ+ Bicentennial Storytime - '00s and '10s

Oct 10, 2021 04:00 PM

As part of our programming and in line with the Bicentennial theme, “There’s a place for you”, we are exploring the experiences of LGBTQ+ alumni over the past 200 years at Williams.

Our '00s and '10s alumni panel will include members of those class years in conversation with each other and moderators from BiGLATA’s Executive Committee.

We are so excited and honored to hear more stories and experiences from within our community — and we hope these panels will be a great opportunity for us all to gain insight into what life has been like overtime in the purple bubble & beyond.

Click here to register!
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Join Davis Center Faculty Fellow Dr. Rashida Braggs for a screening and discussion of her short film, “Runnin’ to Grace,” on Thursday, October 28 from 12-1 PM at the Davis Center in the Jenness Living Room. Lunch will be served. Students, staff, and faculty are welcome!

MassMoca Presents...

Clic here to learn more about this concert opportunity!


Saturday, October 16, 8pm at MassMoca in North Adams

London-born, Lagos, Nigeria-raised, New York-based composer, bandleader, and bassist Michael Olatuja blends the sounds of these three cities into what he describes as a “cinematic Afrobeat.” One of the most inventive and in-demand bassists on the scene today, Olatuja has worked and recorded with the likes of Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Shakira, and MASS MoCA friend Angelique Kidjo, among others. He’s here with a full band, for a high-energy evening of hard-hitting afrobeat, jazz, and funk.

The full Lagos Pepper Soup band includes Michael Olatuja (bass/composer), Stephanie Alvarenga (voice), Melonie Daniels Walker (voice), Etienne Stadwijk (piano), and Jonathan Barber (drums).



Friday, November 5, 8pm & Saturday, November 6, 8pm

In Iphigenia, two of the most visionary and daring musical voices of our time—composer Wayne Shorter and librettists and performer Esperanza Spalding—have created a modern operatic re-imagining of the ancient tale of a daughter sacrificed to the gods. Against a set designed by luminary architect Frank Gehry, classical and jazz forms collide in a full orchestral score, while a deeply poetic and radical libretto sees Iphigenia herself multiply and stare down opera’s history. Shorter and Spalding’s 'Iphigenia' is not so much an adaptation as an intervention into myth-making, music, and opera as we know it.

Click here to learn more about this amazing opportunity!

Three Familiar Views from/at the USA-Mexico Border

Thursday, October 7, 6pm EST Streamed Live on YouTube

Exhibiting artist Marcos Ramírez ERRE is joined in conversation by his two brothers: poet and visual artist Omar Pimienta and Professor Juan Carlos Ramírez-Pimienta, an expert on border culture, as well as the narcocorrido—a genre of ballad inspired by the drug trade. Together they share their intimate knowledge of transnationality and the rich culture of the border region, bringing us a fuller picture of the USA-Mexico border and its development since the 80s through family stories from the Colonia Libertad neighborhood of Tijuana and their varied artistic and academic studies.

This event will be streamed live on MASS MoCA’s YouTube channel.

Marcos Ramírez ERRE’s exhibition THEM AND US / ELLOS Y NOSOTROS is on view now through October 24, 2021. Explore in person or virtually through a 3D gallery tour.

What to Expect:


How do you make a poem sing—on the page, on the stage, 

on a sidewalk, even over Zoom?

Few can answer this question better than writer and performer  Porsha Olayiwola. A poetry slam champion who's coached teams to the highest levels of national competition, Olayiwola is also the author of the recent collection i shimmer sometimes,too (Button Poetry), the current Poet Laureate for the city of Boston, a longtime educator, an Afrofuturist playwright, and a curator who recently organized the inaugural Roxbury Poetry Festival. Olayiwola will teach an afternoon workshop and give an evening performance (both over Zoom). The evening event will also include a student open mic and a Q&A.

2:10-3:30 pm: Writing & Performance Workshop

Open to all students. Come if you want hands-on experience creating at the intersection of page and stage. Poets, actors, dancers, playwrights, storytellers, and curious beginners are all welcome!

6:30-8:00 pm: Performance & Student Open Mic

Come early to sign up for the open mic, or email fc3@williams.edu to claim a spot in advance. Following the open mic, Porsha Olayiwola will deliver a feature performance. Q&A to follow.

All events virtual over Zoom! 

Register here and share the short link: bit.ly/williamsporsha.

This event is organized by Prof. Franny Choi, Arthur Levitt, Jr. ’52 Artist-in-Residence, 

sponsored by English, and co-sponsored by Africana Studies and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

About the Artist:

Black, futurist, poet, dyke, hip-hop feminist, womanist: Porsha Olayiwola is a native of Chicago who now resides in Boston. Olayiwola is a writer, performer, educator and curator who uses afro-futurism and surrealism to examine historical and current issues in the Black, woman, and queer diasporas. She is an Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and the former artistic director at MassLEAP, a literary youth organization. Olayiwola is an MFA Candidate at Emerson College. Porsha Olayiwola is the author of i shimmer sometimes, too (Button Poetry, 2020) and is the current poet laureate for the city of Boston. More at www.porshaolayiwola.com.

Click here to learn more and to register!

H.T. Chen and Dancers Residency

Thu, October 14th, 2021

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

H.T. Chen & Dancers return to the Berkshires. The NYC-based company is noted for its contemporary works addressing Chinese American history and culture. The program will include a brief excerpt from a commissioned work by the Berkshire Community Cultural Committee titled Hidden Voices based on the North Adams shoe factory strike of 1870.

“Red and Black Alchemies of Flesh: Conjuring A Decolonial and Abolitionist Now” with Dr. Tiffany King


In this talk, inspired by her forthcoming book of the same title, Dr. Tiffany King considers Black queer feminist and Indigenous/Native queer feminist traditions in the forging of liberatory intimate and erotic relations. The book project conceptualizes a Black and Indigenous ‘analytics of the flesh’ to think and feel with Black and Indigenous feminist and queer poetics, critique, dreams, ecologies, and praxis as sites of rupture that expose existing decolonial and abolitionist presents and futures.

Dr. Tiffany Lethabo King is an Associate Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Virginia. Dr. King specializes in African Diaspora Studies, Black Ecologies, Native Studies, and decolonial and abolitionist theory. Her first book, The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies, won the Lora Romero First Book Prize of the American Studies Association. Dr. King is also the co-editor of Otherwise Worlds: Against Settler Colonialism and Anti-Black Racism.

Sponsored by the Class of 1960 Scholars Program in Environmental Studies.

Click here to learn more about this event and to learn how to join this event

More Than Words: An Introduction to Dunham Technique, Southern Black Dance Vocabularies, and the Work of Saroya Corbett


The Dance Department would like to invite you to meet our Gaius Charles Bolin Fellow this year, Saroya Corbett. We are hosting her workshop, "More Than Words: An Introduction to Dunham Technique, Southern Black Dance Vocabularies, and the Work of Saroya Corbett" on Tuesday, October 19th at 4:30pm on the MainStage in the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance. This event is an opportunity for the Williams community to learn more about Corbett's work and move with her on the dance floor. The event will include a lecture and a dance class. However, dancing is optional. 

To attend the event, please RSVP by Wednesday, October 13th. 

Event Description:

In this workshop, Saroya Corbett, Bolin Fellow of Dance, will share with the Williams community her expertise in Dunham Technique, an Afro-modern dance technique, and her research on Black social dance in Louisiana. As a certified instructor in and a life-long practitioner of Dunham Technique, Saroya will discuss the importance of the Dunham technique model in her work as an educator, a scholar, and a human. Additionally, Saroya will explore her research on dance teams and bounce as she dissects the cultural and embodied meaning behind these practices. During this experience, Saroya will combine her work and scholarship with the embodied experience. Therefore, participants should be prepared to learn and engage in a Dunham Technique dance class.

Click here to RSVP

This fall we are so excited to present A CROSSING: A DANCE MUSICAL, led by Broadway's Joshua Bergasse (On The Town, SMASH, etc) and Alberto Lopez (Artistic Director of the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company). The show runs Sept 23–Oct 17 at our Boyd–Quinson Stage in Pittsfield, MA.

Pulsing with energy and emotional intensity, this story about a group of migrants crossing the southern border is raw, visceral and electrifying — demonstrating the personal impact of crossing an “invisible line.” The group faces many dangers, including the coyote — a human smuggler. This new dance musical ingeniously combines compelling lyrics, athletic choreography and elements of Mexican folk music to tell a remarkable tale of courage, fear and struggle.


WAM Theatre presents Kamloopa  by Kim Senklip Harvey, directed by Estefanía Fadul.

A contemporary comedy featuring an all-Indigenous ensemble.

Presented live in the Berkshires, Oct 7-24, and streaming digitally, Nov 1-7, 2021.

Individual tickets here. 

Group tickets (with accompanying study guide and video interviews with artists) available - contact talya@wamtheatre.com.


"Charm Bracelet" is a multi-event experimental & ephemeral project curated by Isabel Kuh '23 centered on emerging Latinx artists working with ideas of camp and envisioning alternative mediums in alternative spaces.

Stay tuned for the student art show in the Images Cinema lobby opening on Tuesday 10/5, artist talks with Gabriela Ruiz and Oscar Chavez on 10/14 at 5:30 pm in Lawrence Hall 231, gallery opening on 10/15 6:30-9 pm in the Spring Street parking lot, and a special musical event on 10/22. For more info, check out @charmbrac3let on Instagram.


Stay tuned for an announcement about “Hot Topics at the DC” with Aseel Abulhab, on Wednesday, October 20 from 12-1 PM. The dialogue will take place at the Davis Center in the Jenness House Living. Lunch will be served, and students, staff, and faculty are welcome!

Integrative Wellness Services (IWS)



The Davis Center hosted a block party on Tuesday the 14th of September. We are happy to inform you that we had hundreds of guests danced, played, dined and enjoyed being together again. The event was held entirely outdoors, with a local barber, Chris B. of Klipper Kingz in North Adams fading and lining the night away. We look forward to having Chris back again. Chris gifted barber and we are very thankful to have this connection. Food was provided by a variety of vendors including Spice Root, Spring Street Market and caterer CJ Hazel. Perienal DJ favorite, DJ Syxx Figgaz kept the crowd MOVING 🎉. We are all very thankful to everyone who joined the celebration and for our vendors. We are already planning an even bigger, better end of year Block Party for May 2022!

The Davis Center at Williams College

10 Jenness Drive

Williamstown, MA 01267


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