Yes, I deserve a spring–I owe nobody nothing.-Virginia Wolfe


April 2022

Directors Note:

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Greetings Friends!

Herstory was made last month! Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black Woman to serve on the US Supreme Court, has been confirmed!! She joins a very small number of women and people of color who have ever served in this role! What an honor!

This month, we also celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage!! May is also the heritage month for Hatian Americans and Jewish Americans, May 17th is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and May 21st is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. Let’s spend some time this month learning about groups who are less represented and marginalized in our communities.

This month we are also getting closer and closer to semester’s the finish line! Keep chugging!

In this issue, we introduce you to another wonderfully successful Deaf person, the song of the labor movement, and remind you that the region is going green (really, the color green!). We also announce lots of ways to get involved in may!

Read on!




Dear Davis Center Times Readership,

My name is Aseel Abulhab, and I'm the Assistant Director of the DC. Welcome to Williams Signs! Each newsletter, I will share something related to sign language and/or D/deaf culture. Happy signing!

In this penultimate edition of the DC Times, I’d like to introduce a new memoir by Nyle DiMarco, a well-known Deaf actor, producer, advocate, and model. Nyle was half of a pair of Deaf twins born to a multi-generational Deaf family in Queens, New York. 

In his memoir, Deaf Utopia, Nyle shares stories, both heartbreaking and humorous, of what it means to navigate a world built for hearing people. He attended Gallaudet University, the only Deaf liberal arts college in the world, where he majored in math and was an athlete. He is most famous for winning the reality show competitions America’s Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars.

I encourage you to check out the book, which is not only about Nyle’s life but about Deaf culture and language. As the fall approaches and American Sign Language is offered at the College for credit for the first time, there are many opportunities to learn about Deaf culture, history, and language, whether you’re enrolled in the class or not! 


Greetings, Ephs! I’m Aly, the Associate Director of the Davis Center. Each month I write a little about issues of identity and power in U.S. musical culture.

May 1 is international workers day, and that always puts Solidarity Forever (lyrics) in my head. This song is a labor movement anthem dating back to the early twentieth century. And while there has been no shortage of recent attacks on freedom in the courts and state legislatures, it’s always worth paying attention to what people are doing to exert influence outside the halls of government. Notably, there has been a recent resurgence of labor organizing at Amazon, Starbucks, REI, and beyond.

Want to learn more about the entangled history of American music and the labor movement? Check out Gustavus Stadler’s new book, Woody Guthrie: An Intimate Life, and/or shoot me an email at awc5 to find a time to chat!

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Spring, beautiful Spring! I really can't express how excited I am by the expeditious return of flowers and greenery over this past week. A certain social media data mining service just reminded me that for at least 12 years that I've said something along the lines of "This is my favorite week of the year!" and this year is no different.

If you happen to be in the Berkshire region, please understand that our world is absolutely buzzing with magical changes right now--everything is about to turn green on us. We get used to the browns and grays of winter--the trees bare and previous year's grasses dead on the ground. But then....BOOM! Over a matter of a few days, our world begins to GLOW GREEN! 

The green of the first few days is so bright and full of life. And for months onward we will live in a green, green world and we will get used to the leaves.  We will gripe about the heat and the bugs and wish for cooler, less buggy days--like what we will have in the next few weeks. So I implore you, readers--do everything you can to get outside right now. There are special ephemeral magic moments that you won't even know you're missing, but you'd be mad at yourself if you had any idea.


Remember grace? No, I don’t mean a blessing over a meal. I mean grace for other people. We are all fallible beings out here, just trying to get through. Mistakes will be made.  Yet, time after time, it seems like we don’t give each other a chance to be human. Sometimes a mistake isn’t even made, we simply don’t have a complete understanding…yet we judge anyway.  

Allowing ourselves to see more than one side, and gathering information before deciding, are big parts of the critical consciousness developed in an educational environment. So, this month, presume positive intent.

Does everyone have positive intent all the time? Absolutely not. There are times when someone doesn't deserve our grace. Yet if we know others’ stories, we find that those instances where we can’t extend grace are few and far between. 

Still, presuming positive intent isn’t about the other person, it’s about us. It’s about having a mindset that puts us in a place where we can interact from a place of vulnerability instead of armor, where we are open to seeing possibility instead of adding to the negativity in the moment, or worse…spreading it.

When we gather support against someone we are reacting out of pain. When we ask others to choose sides without listening to multiple viewpoints, we instill fear of speaking up (which can foster an unwelcome environment). When we are talked about we feel undervalued and misunderstood. No position is a happy one to be in. At some point, we will likely be in each of these places. Wouldn’t you want compassion? Turns out, when we don’t extend grace, we activate anger in our own bodies, which releases stress hormones that can wreak havoc when left unbalanced.

What if we approached instead of canceled? What if we gave our fellow humans a chance instead of writing them off? What if we lived in the gray area of nuance and found comfort in our discomfort? We might be better off with our physical and mental health as well. So, let’s give positive intent a try.

Want to go deeper? Every day this week, when you hear something negative about another person,  suspend judgment. Instead, ask yourself, do I know the whole story? What alternatives might explain this person’s thought or behavior? Journal about how it feels to consider both sides.

Want to learn more? Read this article about living in gray areas and “asking why instead of WTF”. It’s a bit long, but *well* worth the read.

Want to talk about it?  I’d be happy to talk! Here’s the office hour calendar for The DC Team! Also consider creating your own self-care check in group.

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


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Submit your nominations for the DC Awards today! Submit by May 15.

Please join us for a conversation with

President Maud S. Mandel


Tyler Tsay ’19

on Friday, May 13 at 11:00 AM ET / 8:00 AM PT

As part of Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and Bolin Legacy Weekend, you're invited to join Maud and Tyler for a conversation about AAPI life and experiences on campus, including progress toward creating an Asian American Studies program and the support and space for AAPI students being enhanced through the Davis Center Initiative.

Maud S. Mandel, Williams’ 18th president, joined the college in July 2018. She has engaged the Williams community in articulating a vision for the college’s future through a collaborative strategic planning effort. The resulting plan includes key curricular initiatives focused on technology and the liberal arts, the arts at Williams, global Williams, and learning by doing that build upon the college's historic strengths and reflect its core commitments to sustainability and inclusion.

Tyler Tsay ’19 is a consultant at BCG and the Director & Founder of The Speakeasy Project, a literary artist organization representing interdisciplinary (queer) poets of color. While at Williams, he served in various leadership roles including Co-Chair of MinCo, Chair of AASiA and Chair of Speakfree. He was part of a core group of organizers pushing for Asian American Studies and served on the CPC Asian American Studies Working Group. He currently lives in New York.

Questions? Contact Kelan O'Brien or reply to this invitation.

Please note that this conversation will be recorded and is open to all alumni & students.

This event is included as part of Bolin Legacy Mentorship Weekend. Learn more about the weekend and other events.

We're looking forward to having you join us, and you can register here!

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We are hosting a virtual panel next Wednesday, May 11, moderated by our own Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, Amal Eqeiq and featuring Susan Eisenberg (Resident Scholar at Brandeis, poet, oral historian, curator of the exhibit On Equal TermsJen Marlowe (filmmaker, writer, activist, founder of Donkeysaddle Productions); and Isis Nusair (Associate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, Denison College, translator, transnational feminist).  

Join the Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 984 4106 5922

Passcode: 076496

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Give It Up! Pre-Summer Job Opportunity 

The Center for Learning in Action and the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives are seeking student employees for the "Give It Up!" end-of-the-year collection and donation campaign. "Give It Up!" enables students to donate their unwanted items at move-out time to local charities and nonprofits, benefiting the local community and preventing waste. Student employees are vital to the success of this important program.

The students will sort and deliver clothing, books, food and other items donated by fellow students to local charities. Applicants must be able to lift 10 pounds or more, have a valid driver's license, and either be certified to drive college vehicles (including large vans) or be able to get certification by early May.

The positions will start in early May and continue through the final weeks of the spring semester. After exams end, hours increase to approximately 20-25 per week for the next two weeks, through the Monday or Tuesday after Commencement Day. On-campus housing included.

Apply today!


Upcoming BIC Events

  • Immigrant Workers’ Rights
  • May 23 at 5pm at the Berkshire Athenaeum 
  • with Claudia Quintero from Central West Justice Center 
  • This event is organized by the Berkshire Immigrant Center together with the Committee for Public Counsel Services, Community Legal Aid, and the Berkshire Athenaeum 
  • In-person and on Zoom, in Spanish and English! Children are welcome!

  • Moving Life Stories
  • May 2, 9, 16, 23
  • Mondays 6:00-8:00 pm
  • 67 East St. Pittsfield, MA
  • Moving Life Stories offers opportunities to make connections to places past and present through movement games, exercises, and dance. In this series of workshops we will learn various ways to tell and embody our stories through play, creative movement and the creation of mini-dances. This program is FREE and open to all ages. A Spanish-speaking interpreter will be present. 
  • For more information or to register, contact Jaimee,

Learn more about the Berkshire Immigrant Center
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Opportunities this month from the Zilkha Center

Fresh Fest: A Food and Farming Film Festival at Images

  • Come to Images this weekend for films focused on food and farming! Most are free, and include a discussion and/or food. See poster attached for more details! 

Lessons from Maine: Food, Farms and Forever Chemicals — Understanding and Addressing the Harmful Legacy and Ongoing Challenge of PFAS and Agriculture

Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 1-2:45 p.m. register for the PFAS webinar here.

  • Maine State Representative Bill Pluecker (I-Warren), farmer and member, Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry
  • Ellen Griswold, Policy & Research Director, Maine Farmland Trust
  • Sarah Alexander, Executive Director, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
  • Sarah Woodbury, Director of Advocacy, Defend Our Health  

Williamstown Net Zero Community Survey & Community Meeting

  • The residents of Williamstown approved a resolution to become a Net Zero Community at the 2021 Town Meeting. This initiative is the extension of a longstanding commitment the town has made to address climate change and reduce carbon emissions. Energy efficiency, clean renewable energy technology, waste reduction and care for our natural resources will be explored to help us reach this goal, by 2050. A community advisory committee is working to develop a comprehensive Climate Action Plan by 2023 in collaboration with the community. 
  • We invite you to complete this survey as a first step in this process. We want to hear from anyone that lives or works in Williamstown. Your input will help shape the plan’s recommendations for how Williamstown can transition to net zero. You are also invited to attend a community meeting that will take place virtually on May 25th from 7-8:30pm.

Sustainability in Athletics Conference

As a follow-up to a very successful Student Sustainability Leaders Symposium at UMass Lowell this Spring, sharing details on the upcoming America East Sustainability Conference taking place on the UMass Lowell Campus June 7-9, 2022. We have a great program lined up with sessions on Executive Leadership, Sustainability in Athletic Facilities Design & Operation, Local Food Promotion and Procurement, Sustainability Career Paths, Tours etc. Full conference program can be found here. If you're a Williams student or employee, email Christine (cs29) for a 30% off code. 


Importantly, this conference is not just for America East Network schools. The theme of the conference is partnerships for sustainability, we welcome all attendees engaged in campus athletics & sustainability work.

Berkshire Natural Resources Council

May Hikes & Events


  • Guided Hike: The Brief but Wondrous Life of Early Spring Wildflowers,
  • Old Mill Trail, Hinsdale/Dalton
  • Friday, May 6, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Join us and learn about the unique ecological partnerships they form, and what makes the Berkshires such a fantastic place for wildflowers to thrive.  
  • Click here for more information.
  •  Easy Naturalist: Signs of Spring (self-guided walk)
  • The self-guided Easy Naturalist: Signs of Spring walk will be on from Saturday, May 7 through Monday, May 30 (dawn to dusk) at Parsons Marsh in Lenox.
  • Click here for more information. 
  •  Guided Hike: The Brief but Wondrous Life of Early Spring Wildflowers,
  • Old Mill Trail, Hinsdale/Dalton
  • Wednesday, May 11, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • Join us and learn about the unique ecological partnerships they form, and what makes the Berkshires such a fantastic place for wildflowers to thrive.
  • Click here for more information.
  • Caminata Familiar Autoguiada en Housatonic Flats, Great Barrington
  • El Ocupado Año de los Castores, de Mary Holland, estará en exhibición para una aventura autoguiada desde el sábado 14 de mayo hasta el lunes 30 de mayo (desde el amanecer hasta el atardecer) en Housatonic Flats en Great Barrington.
  • Por favor haga clic aquí para más información.
  • Family Self-Guided StoryWalk at Housatonic Flats, Great Barrington
  • The Beavers’ Busy Year by Mary Holland will be on display for a self-guided adventure from Saturday, May 14 – Monday, May 30 (dawn to dusk) at Housatonic Flats in Great Barrington.
  • Click here for more information. 
  • Family Spring Discovery Hike at Parsons Marsh, Lenox
  • Saturday, May 21, 10:30 am – 11:30 am
  • Join Berkshire Family Hikes for a child-led stroll along the accessible trail and boardwalk at Parsons Marsh. Interactive signs along the trail will connect kids to the spring happenings around them. We’ll discover spring wildflowers, birds, amphibian sounds, and more!
  • Click here for more information. 

Integrative Wellness Services (IWS)


The Davis Center at Williams College

Bascom House

33 Stetson Court

Williamstown, MA 01267

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