Service to Diversity
The Service to Diversity Commencement Reception is an opportunity for the Haverford community to thank graduating seniors for the work the have done over the course of their undergraduate careers to enhance the college's capacity to create and sustain inclusive community.
Each year, we ask the college community to recommend members of the senior class who have performed diligent community service; used their academic careers to study issues of social justice, identity or culture; and/or participated in co-curricular leadership and activism.
During the reception, each graduate is presented by a Haverford community member or someone from their graduation party. Graduates are then able to offer their own parting words to the community.
Class of 2018 Reception
Class of 2018 Honorees
Office of Multicultural Affairs Intern; Q-House Resident
I think inclusion means thinking reflexively as a group or institution about how we can make it a space that benefits people from a wider variety of backgrounds. Inclusion isn't only about helping students survive more exclusive places, but also actually allowing our community to be changed and improved by adapting to become more accessible.
I devoted my time and energy at Haverford to issues of gender and sexuality because I believe that everyone benefits from a queerer campus. I have worked hard for Haverford to be a space that is safe and joyful for queer students and believe that a world that honors gender and sexuality as fluid, unique, and intersectional is one that can benefit us all.
Horizons Scholar; Multicultural Scholars Program; Ira D. Reid House Resident; Black Students League Co-Head; Womxn of Color Co-Facilitator
Personally, inclusion is an ongoing process and a commitment to learning more about people and culture. I do not think that we will ever get inclusion right. There is always something new to learn about someone. However, it is a process of vulnerability and intentionality to make spaces stronger and more comfortable.
When I think about where I devoted my time and energy, my first thought is black women. This is at the crux of who I am. However, I see how that intersects with so many other people of color. More specifically, I advocate for the visibility and support for these students. Mainly because I would want someone to fight for me, therefore, I made it my mission to always do what I can to fight for others!
Multicultural Scholars Program; Women*s Center Intern; Customs Folk
To me, a (fluid) definition of inclusion means to feel included in any space is to not have to doubt your comfort, safety, validity, or confidence as a result of the people hosting/occupying that space, or the history of actions/people attending and hosting that space.
I've devoted a lot of time trying to facilitate discussions centered on dismantling the toxic aspects of athletic culture/social athletic culture, particularly from the male (cis-hetero male) perspective. We are reflections of the people we spend lots of time with; therefore it is important to me that my teammates are actively trying to dismantle rape culture - both the aspects they have internalized and the aspects they witness here at Haverford and elsewhere.
Chesick Scholar; Tri-Co Social Justice Institute; Customs Folk; Student Life Office Intern; Office of Academic Resources Intern
Inclusion is recognizing that life is unique for every individual. In order to be inclusive, we have to actively question the ways in which we engage people in our lives and ensure that the impact of our actions is positive and filled with love.
I think in terms of identity, I've focused primarily on race/ethnicity with massive attention to its intersections. Identity is messy and complex, but ensuring that we leave a better legacy than we were given is of utmost importance and that starts with recognizing the flaws in our society. Race specifically has pervaded my experience in academia in too many ways to count. I centralize it because of the this and also because of the various ways it influences our society as a whole.
Chesick Scholar; Center for Peace and Global Citizenship Intern; Customs Folk; Quaker House Resident; Black Students League Board; International Students Orientation
Inclusion is the act of holding a space that allows for an interweaving of multiple experiences, identities, and perspectives through a sense of mutual respect and empathy.
Multicultural Scholars Program; Tri-Co Social Justice Institute; Ira D. Reid House Resident; Center for Peace and Global Citizenship Intern; Office of Religious and Spiritual Life Intern; Womxn of Color; LIFTFAR Advisory Council; Student Assistance Hotline
Inclusion is about creating spaces where individuals feel as though they can belong, where they feel part of a group. It’s about being in a space where people feel comfortable speaking and voicing their ideas and thoughts. It’s a place where individuals are willing to be vulnerable. It is also about being in a group that, while making one feel comfortable, also makes them question and grow into to being a better person, human or citizen.
I would say that in the past being an AMA, being a co-facilitator of Womyn of Color and my time as a UCA my goal has been to make the process of acclimating into the Haverford community as smooth as possible for other students of color because these are the people that helped me acclimate and feel at home when I first arrived at Haverford.
Tri-Co Social Justice Institute; Customs Folk; Ira D. Reid House Resident
Inclusion is the understanding that a space can always be expanded; we can always do more to incorporate different perspectives and lived experiences into the way we construct our conversations, spaces, and dialogues.
I remembered how it felt to come into a community and not be sure who you could rely on for help when you needed it, and I wanted to try and be that person. With this in mind, I started looking for opportunities to bring this idea to life; I started with Customs, as I felt being a CP on a first-year hall would be a good way to immerse myself into the universal and distinct issues that People of Color face when stepping into a Predominantly White Institution. This small act seemed to be a step in the right direction, but when the position of Community Outreach Multicultural Liaison was created in an attempt to rectify the power imbalances that plague confrontation, I knew this would be a meaningful and more widespread way to serve my community.
Chesick Scholar; QuestBridge Scholar; Customs Folk; International Students Orientation; International Student Services Intern
For me, inclusion is bringing together and providing diverse resources and forces to make one not only feel welcome into a community or an environment, but also to help them thrive and succeed in that environment. Inclusion, for me, is the act of creating an environment of involvement, trust, respect, and concern for each individual within that community regardless of their background or physical appearances to create a rich flow of ideas, backgrounds, and perspectives.
I devoted most of my time at Haverford to disparities present in health, particularly for African Americans. I surrounded my discussions, studies, presentations, and events around the theme of police brutality or racial trauma as a public health issue.
Kevin Jiah-Chih Liao
Pan-Asian Resource Center (PARC) Co-Founder; TIDE; Customs Folk
Inclusion is the construction of community and building spaces that celebrate and welcome the presence of people who haven't been traditionally welcome because of existing power structures.
My biggest mission at Haverford has been to build a unified Pan-Asian community. This issue is important to me because a unified, political Pan-Asian community can be shaped to build solidarity with other groups on Haverford's campus. Additionally, this community is one that calls people in. At every step of the way, it is important that we especially extend an invitation to the folks who have been traditionally excluded by the label of 'Asian' or 'Asian American'.
Teaching and Learning Institute (TLI); Mentoring & Student Teaching (MAST); South Asian Society Co-Head; Customs Folk
Inclusion is a dynamic process of evaluating and re-evaluating how spaces can allow for the participation of individuals with different identities.
I have been very interested in identity and social justice in education. I have seen how classrooms at Haverford have excluded people of many different identities. Through my experience in the Education Minor and the Teaching and Learning Institute (TLI) I have spent a lot of time thinking how this can be changed. Much of the initiative I have taken has been around advocating for professors to be thinking more about how they can make their classrooms more inclusive. I have also been involved with the MAST program where I have constantly advocated for a more thoughtful incorporation of identity and social justice into the design of the program.
Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow (MMUF); Multicultural Scholars Program; Ira D. Reid House Resident; Admission Intern; Customs Folk
I define inclusion based on the absence of barriers and the uplifting of missing voices. It's not enough for us to "include" everyone in the Haverford experience. We must also empower those who haven't previously had the platform to speak up and speak out.
Most of my work on campus is in the Admissions Office where I prioritize students who are also first generation, low income and/or students of color. These are identifiers that many of my friends and I identify with and around which we have formed many of our bonds. This is an important issue, especially to Haverford, because, in my experience, these are the students who do tireless work towards inclusion on this campus, yet these are the students who are in need of the most support and guidance. These students form their own support networks and share their wisdom with the incoming first years. These are the networks I am interested in strengthening and supporting.
Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA); Q-House; Advisory Committee on Mental Well-Being; Student Advisory Committee for Access and Disability Services; Customs Folk
My definition of inclusion is going beyond mere tolerance to accept, accommodate, and uplift traditionally excluded and marginalized groups. For instance, it is not enough to simply not have discriminatory policies against LGBTQ folks; we must create affirmative, institutionalized resources through which LGBTQ folks and other marginalized groups on campus can thrive and learn to navigate this space.
I have dedicated much of my time at Haverford to improving the campus climate for LGBTQ students and providing new opportunities for queer and trans community-building on campus. This is an issue that is important to me as an LGBTQ person and as someone who for a long time didn't have an LGBTQ community. I've also focused on issues of access, disability, and mental health, as these are other issues that personally affect me. Finally, in the latter half of my time at Haverford, I've spent more time working on decarceration and criminal justice reform efforts. After spending time working on somewhat separated single-issue activism efforts, I realized that a lot of the issues I care about intersect in the criminal legal system. I felt that in order to make our activism efforts truly inclusive, we must include those who are often cast off as irredeemable or demonized as 'criminals.' So in the past couple of years, I've spent more and more time working to combine my organizing around issues of identity with organizing efforts against mass incarceration and the death penalty.
Customs Co-Head; Student Life Office Intern; Students’ Council Officer of Athletics; Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)
Inclusion is creating spaces where people are welcomed and safe to engage with the diverse identities they hold. Authentically inclusive spaces require trust, respect, caring, and vulnerability.
I dedicated the largest portion of my time and energy towards the Customs Program because it is one of the largest programs on campus with the potential to positively impact individual students and the campus community as a whole. I strongly believe that every incoming First-Year should feel welcomed and supported, and that there is a place for them here; building an inclusive community is contingent on this principle. Identifying ways to better support First-Year students also helps us identify how we can better serve the holistic community.
Students’ Council Co-President, Officer of Campus Life; Customs Co-Head; South Asian Society Co-Head; Mentoring & Student Teaching (MAST)
Inclusion, for me, is creating a space where the voices and experiences of everyone within the space are not just heard, but respected and valued.
Most of my time at Haverford was focused on different aspects of leadership on campus but my efforts were focused on bringing in conversations of diversity and social justice into my leadership roles. I think the issue is very important because regardless of the position, the identity of the person holding that position has an enormous effect on the way that they are regarded and received by the rest. I wanted to ensure that this is a continuing conversation so that in the future, women of color are better able to navigate the challenges that come with being in leadership roles.
Multicultural Scholars Program; Students’ Council Treasurer; Office of Multicultural Affairs Intern; Black Students League Creative Director; Special Events Committee; Haverfest Co-Coordinator
Inclusion means finding ways to share experiences and making sure everyone is supported. I strongly believe it is the key to a better world, as it teaches to look out for one another and show true concern.
Throughout my role as SECS Co-head, SC Treasurer, etc. I made sure to put myself in positions where I could make a grand impact on all of campus. This way, I know that people of color feel included in predominantly white spaces--like social events and parties. I strongly believe that we have to put ourselves in positions of power so that we can make change.