Claiming Williams: A Day of Learning

On Feb. 5, participants in Claiming Williams joined together to ask and answer the question “Why Should I Care?” The day began with opening remarks from President Adam Falk, who said the goal of Claiming Williams is “not to feel good about Williams. The goal is to make Williams better. So what I wish you is a good day of listening—and a good day of learning.” After four students led a talk-show style preview of the day’s schedule, students, faculty and staff took part in discussions, performances and events well into the evening aimed at building and sustaining a more inclusive community. Among the topics they explored were empathy, Islamophobia, local borders, mental health, political action and trust. Chaédria LaBouvier ’07 and her mother, Collette Flanagan, founders of Mothers Against Police Brutality, were the keynote speakers that evening. Flanagan, whose son was killed two years ago by a Dallas police officer, told those gathered in Chapin Hall that they “must all take a stand. … If this broken mother can pick up the pieces … you can certainly contribute.”