To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance--Oscar Wilde


February 2022

Directors Note:

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Happy Black History Month friends! 

The Black Student Union has an amazing lineup of events. It’s been a fun February! Check out the calendar below! Lunar New Year celebrations around the world also began this month with friends and family gathering to honor ancestors and ring in a new year. 

Although there is much to celebrate, there are still countless traumas simultaneously occurring. Recent attention has been placed on Uyghurs facing genocide and the congregates of a synagogue in Texas being held hostage. Let us all take some time to learn about what people are going through outside of our community and find out how we can spread knowledge and provide assistance.     

There are a lot of great events and opportunities this month including the annual DuBois Legacy Festival, Entwined: Indigenous, Afro-Indigenous, and African American roundtables, a Dabke performance, and summer fellowships. You may have to click on the link at the end of the email to see these ads. So...

Read on!


P.S. Do you have something you want us to share? Email with the details!

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 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, and Happy New Year! Each newsletter, I will share something related to sign language and/or D/deaf culture. Happy signing!

This month, check out the story of Shaheem Sanchez, a Deaf dancer and instructor. It's a common misconception that Deaf people can't enjoy music. But there's actually a whole community of Deaf dancers and sign language music interpreters. Shaheem is also an instructor at ASL Music Camp, which is making music more accessible to the Deaf community. 


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.

The recent banning of Art Spiegelman’s Maus in a Tennessee school district, along with attempts to remove books by Black authors from schools through the censorship of “Critical Race Theory”–has me thinking about the relationship between anti-Blackness and antisemitism in the United States. After the recent hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel and the police violence that killed Amir Locke in Minneapolis, these acts of censorship also have me thinking about how we might seek solidarity across social differences to contest such injustices. In moments like these, I sometimes find comfort in figures like Abel Meeropol and Billie Holiday. Meeropol was a Russian Jewish man who lived in New York City and wrote the song “Strange Fruit” to protest anti-Black lynching in the United States. Billie Holiday was a Black woman blues singer who then transformed the song into a hit record even though her record label would not release this “controversial” song. Instead, she had to find another label to record it. As Angela Davis writes in Blues Legacies and Black Feminism, “Strange Fruit” became one of the most important protest songs of the 20th century even though powerful men tried to silence Holiday and Meeropol. May Meeropol's and Holiday's memory be a blessing, and also an inspiration.

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A little less than a year ago, I profiled in my "Get Out" section an individual who was seeking to "through-hike" the Appalachian trail, which is to say--hike a couple of thousand miles along the spine of the Appalachians from Georgia to Maine. As you can imagine--this is not an easy task.

When I first introduced Dragonsky, I mentioned that part basis of our friendship was our mutual belief that the "great outdoors," are truly for EVERYONE and that it's a place full of great medicine for the mind, body, and spirit. She, like me, wants to see the outdoors as diverse as the rest of the world: where all are represented because the outdoors are for everyone.

I am happy to inform the readers that Dragonsky completed the AT just in the knick of time--I am more excited to inform you all that she'll be visiting the campus in the upcoming weeks. On Wednesday, February 16th at 12:30 p.m. in the Jenness Livingroom they will be going over their experience as a BIPOC/LGBTQIA+ solo hiker and will be providing a Q&A session for guests to learn about Dragonsky, hiking, the AT, good hiking gear or anything in between. Due to public health challenges, we will not be providing lunch, but we will have a variety of "trail snacks" you can use to fuel your next adventure--even if it's just back to the office or dormroom.


Happy day Friends!

This is the month of love so I am always inclined to suggest a Random Act of Kindness as the self-care challenge for February. Kindness increases our own oxytocin and reduces our stress. So, even if it’s just for the personal benefit, go ahead and commit to a random act of kindness today!

Avoiding Omicron as best as you can? Me too! There are lots of ways to be kind during the pandemic:

  • Post happy thoughts on your social media
  • Say “thank you” as often as you can
  • Join a letter writing campaign
  • Make a donation (time, money, and/or gently used goods and clothing)
  • Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while (no agenda, just chat)
  • Give specific praise when someone does well (not just a “great job” but why) 
  • Draw someone a picture and leave it for them or send a kind note

Want to go deeper? Document your kindness to others (and yourself!) for a day or two. What trends do you see?

Want to learn more? Here’s an article about the health benefits of being kind. There’s a few more ways to be kind listed in the article :) 

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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The Future of Belonging: Contemporary French and Francophone Film Festival 2022

Over 3 consecutive Mondays at 7:30 PM, on February 28, March 7, and March 14, the Williams Department of Romance Languages will screen 3 recent French and Francophone films at Images Cinema that center the perspectives of Black and Indigenous women on the concept of belonging, love and family. The Davis Center is co-sponsoring this series; stay tuned to Daily Messages for more details about a workshop with filmmaker Amandine Gay and the Davis Center in early March.

  • February 28: Nous (Alice Diop)
  • March 7: Une histoire à soi/A Story of One’s Own (2021) by Amandine Gay. Q&A with director Amandine Gay and editor, sound engineer and producer Enrico Bartolucci after the film showing and lecture the next day.

March 14: Kuessipan (2019) by Myriam Verreault (written by Naomi Fontaine)


Please consider joining us for SPRING '22 Just Futures Online Roundtables. This series aims for participants to learn from and collaborate with organizers/activists/intellectuals/artists/scholars in order to reshape education, public humanities, and advocate for social transformation.

February 15   Spirituality  6pm -7-30


March 15  Security  6pm -7-30

April 12  Sovereignties  6pm -7-30

May 10   Freedom  6pm -7-30


We are pleased to announce that the 2022 application cycle for the Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Diversity Fellowship⁠ is now open! The RAY Diversity Fellowship is a two-year (1-year with 1-year renewal), full-time position with partner conservation and clean energy organizations with the goal of increasing and facilitating environmentally-related career pathways for emerging leaders of color. RAY Fellows have worked in a variety of communications, climate, policy, research, education, fieldwork, and philanthropic capacities.

About the RAY Diversity Fellowship Program.

Inspired by efforts to increase racial diversity in conservation and clean energy, the Environmental Leadership Program coordinates Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Diversity Fellowship provides first-time career access opportunities for recent college graduates of color who do not have previous professional experience or a graduate degree. The RAY Fellowship is designed to support the Fellows in becoming leaders in the environmental sector—one that, in our visions of the future, fully represents, includes, and is led by the diverse communities, perspectives, and experiences of the United States.

  • RAY Fellows are placed within one of our Member Organizations in a two-year-long (1-year with 1-year renewal) full-time fellowship position.
  • RAY Fellows receive an entry-level salary plus benefits, relocation assistance, and a professional development stipend.
  • RAY Fellows come together as a cohort twice during the fellowship for the orientation and mid-year retreats to equip Fellows with tools, experiences, support, and community. 
  • RAY Fellows design a Personal Leadership Plan, participate in professional development webinars, and receive support from mentors.
  • RAY Fellows join a growing community of emerging conservation and clean energy leaders of color.

Eligibility & How to Apply

Eligible applicants will:

  • Come from a racial / ethnic background underrepresented in the environmental sector and demonstrate a commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Be no more than 1 year out of college and have a Bachelor's Degree by August 2022 (we are not considering individuals with graduate degrees at this time) 
  • Have not had a full-time job in conservation or clean energy
  • Have the ability to work in the United States and commit to the entire fellowship

Applications for the 2022 cycle are open and descriptions of Fellowship positions will be added on a rolling basis through March. We anticipate scientific and policy research and communications-specific positions among others this year. Visit our website at for application instructions and deadlines. 

Interested applicants may join one of our upcoming informational webinar series to ask questions, learn more about the application process, and hear from a current RAY Fellow. 

Nominate a future RAY Fellow here! Please forward and share the information widely with interested graduating seniors and recent graduates along with our social media announcements (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram). For more information please contact Maria ( for information about RAY Conservation or RAY Clean Energy placements.

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Dively Summer Opportunity Grant

Have an idea for a summer project or internship that engages with gender, sexuality, and/or LGBTQ cultures? Opportunities may include internships, summer courses, art projects, community service endeavors, research, conference attendance, etc., which place a specific focus on LGBTQ+ experiences, issues, and expressions. These grants come with a stipend intended to free awardees from other paid work during the supported term, in order to allow full focus on the awardee’s project.

The Dively Summer Opportunity Grants application will open later this week, and the deadline is Monday, February 28 at 4 PM. Stay tuned to the Daily Messages for announcements about info sessions and the application process! And if you are curious to learn more, please contact Aly Corey at awc5.

OIDEI Racial Justice Summer Fellowships

Have an idea for a summer project or internship that would advance racial justice initiatives or understanding? These summer opportunity grants provide a flexible opportunity for students to define how to advance racial justice initiatives. Projects and opportunities may include internships, research projects, partnerships with community-based organizations, summer courses, art projects, community service, conference attendance, and other opportunities, provided that the specific focus is on racial justice experiences, issues, and expressions. These grants come with a stipend intended to free awardees from other paid work during the supported term, in order to allow full focus on the awardee’s project.

The OIDEI Racial Justice Summer Fellowship application will open later this week, and the deadline is February 28 at 4 PM. Stay tuned to the Daily Messages for announcements about info sessions and the application process! And if you are curious to learn more, please contact Aly Corey at awc5.

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Climate Vigil: February 16th at 5:30pm

The prospect of present and future impacts of climate change can often feel overwhelming. This vigil will provide the space for those feelings: to reflect, grieve, and give space to remember the people and places impacted by climate change. Hosted by the Chaplains’ Office, Center for Environmental Studies, and the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives. Rain/snow date February 17th, 5:30pm.

Intersection of Tribal Rights with Environmental, Energy, and Resources Development Conference

Join the American Bar Association for this webinar that runs from February 15th-16th. From the organizer: "The conference will focus on natural resource development, water quality and water rights, clean energy and climate change resiliency, and international best practices. Whether you represent or work with Indian tribes; work for energy developers, the federal government, or state environmental agencies; or want to learn more about this critical intersection of energy development and tribal issues, this conference is an opportunity to understand the important role of tribes in these federal or state policy efforts.” 

MCLA’s Spring Semester Green Living Seminar: Greening the City

In-person lectures happening on Wednesdays at 5:30pm at MCLA on city sustainability (recordings posted afterwards). Learn more here

Click here to learn more about this festival

Berkshire Natural Resources Council February Opportunities

February Hikes & Events


Winter Hike on the Saddle Trail, Alford Springs, Alford

Tuesday, February 8, 10:00 am – 1:30 pm

Join us on a 3.5-mile winter adventure along the east slope of the Taconic Range. 

Click here for more information.


All About Black Bears Online Program

Thursday, February 10, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Join us for an afternoon with MassWidlife Black Bear & Furbearer Biologist Dave Wattles to learn about black bears in the Berkshires and beyond. Dave will discuss their habitat needs, population dynamics, and bear safety.

Click here for more information.


Caminata Familiar Autoguiada, en The Boulders, Pittsfield

Luna de Búho, de Jane Yolen, estará exhibido para una aventura autoguiada desde el sábado 12 de febrero hasta el domingo 27 de febrero (desde el amanecer hasta el atardecer).

Por favor haga clic aquí para más información.


Family Self-Guided StoryWalk, The Boulders, Pittsfield

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen will be on display for a self-guided adventure from Saturday, February 12 – Sunday, February 27 (dawn to dusk).

Click here for more information.


Beginner Wildlife Tracking, The Boulders, Pittsfield

Saturday, February 19, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Join the Berkshire Environmental Action Team and the Berkshire Natural Resources Council on an outing to look for signs of wildlife.

Click here for more information.

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Berkshire Benchmarks is surveying county residents to understand better the issues facing us all. This survey covers economics, education, the environment, local government, health, housing, social environment, and transportation. The survey will take an estimated 20 minutes.

Click here to learn more

ProjectConnect is a peer-facilitated program to help build social connection and community on campus. Students get to know a small group of 4-6 students outside of their social groups over the course of five 1-hour sessions. Groups respond to a series of fun and thought-provoking questions, engage in a small community connection project, and hopefully make new friends!

Early Spring 2022 - ProjectConnect Group Interest Form

This program is for current students.



We think it’s time for Williamstown to have a little winter fun and I am hoping your group, committee, department, church, institution, business, neighborhood, family will participate.

The Williamstown DIRE committee will be sponsoring a Snow Sculpture community event during the week of school break, February 21st to the 27th. During this week, participants will build their creations, snap a picture, include a name and the location of their creation, and send it to for placement on a downloadable google map and for voting. The google map provides a way for people to know where to look for all the wonderful creations that have been built. On the 27th of February, all submitted sculptures will be judged by a small panel of community members. The winning sculpture will receive a pizza package, consisting of two pizzas and some bread extras from The Log by Ramuntos. 

We understand that not everyone who would like to participate may have the space to do so. To accommodate, we have secured ground space on the front lawn of the Spruces for any group that needs a space to build their creative pieces. 

There are only two rules. First, you must have fun! Second, because we want the sculptures to be seen from the road for our drive-arounds, we ask that you be mindful to not visually impede traffic with your creation.

Willinet has also offered to loan free equipment to anyone who wants to help capture the moments of this great community event. For more on this, please reach out to Willinet directly.

All photos should be submitted by 8am Sunday, Feb 27th to be considered for judging on that day.

We hope that you will take this time to join this great town-wide community event.

Please email with any questions, and let us know if your team will be participating! 


Andi Bryant

Williamstown Dire Committee

Integrative Wellness Services (IWS)

About "ALONE TOGETHER:" A drop-in group open to students on campus who are in isolation or quarantining, or just feeling isolated during COVID. We will meet remotely for lunch to talk about whatever is on your mind or just be together. Come to connect with others and engage as little or as much as is comfortable. 

Facilitators: Sara Mugridge, Corinna Rosendahl, Susana Gomez and Morgan Jasewicz

Offered: Thursday 02.10.2022 at 12pm, Thursday 02.17.2022 at 12pm


The Davis Center at Williams College

10 Jenness Drive

Williamstown, MA 01267

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