This message was sent to members of the Bryn Mawr College community from President Kim Cassidy on Nov. 16, 2020.
To Bryn Mawr students, faculty, and staff:
The Bryn Mawr Strike Collective has challenged the College and all of us to reckon with institutional racism. They have pushed the institution to confront more directly its past and present injustices. Their actions have been brave and bold. Members have spoken of the changes they seek as benefiting all of us and particularly students.
The Strike Collective leaders and other students, staff, faculty, and alumnae/i have spoken courageously about the harm, hurt, and fear that they and others have experienced at the College as a result of race, ethnicity, nationality, disability, or socioeconomic status. These wounds will not heal on their own and they will not heal without substantive structural changes.
As President of the College, and as an individual, I share the Strike Collective’s vision for the College to build, collectively, a new commitment to change.
I am in agreement with the areas for action laid out in the November 12 demands. I have attached a response that details how specific aspects of demands will be fulfilled, including timelines and our commitments to invest the resources needed. Some of these actions have already been enacted and some can begin immediately. There are other issues that are more complex—for example, those that depend on decisions of the Board of Trustees or the faculty and require their engagement and action—to which I have responded as fully as possible for now. While some of the specifics of approach may vary, the College is committing itself to act on all of the demands set forth by the Strike Collective. I hope that what is conveyed in this response is our deep and shared commitment to action for change.
A college president cannot single-handedly decree all institutional change. I need your help. In the spirit of mutual respect and shared purpose, I invite representatives of the Collective and all students, faculty and staff to work with me so that we are able to turn our shared commitments into meaningful action.
Anti-racism requires ongoing and resolute work. I am committed to partnering with the Strike Collective and with all students, faculty, and staff to move Bryn Mawr College forward.