Service to Diversity, Class of 2016
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 2016 Reception
Class of 2016 Honorees
ZHUOCHEN (BRYAN) WANG
AIDS SERVICE NETWORK
When people perceive that they are being included to a group or community.
I devoted much time and energy on issues related to HIV/AIDS. This disease is not simply a biomedical disease.
It's a social disease, fueled by irrational fear, stigma, discrimination, health care inequality, misconceptions, and ignorance.
TRI-CO INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE, MULTICULTURAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM, ALLIANCE OF LATIN AMERICAN STUDENTS, AMBASSADORS OF MULTICULTURAL AWARENESS
Inclusion is not leaving someone out. This includes both physical and verbal inclusion.
During my time here, I tried to take positions that would allow me to support individuals like me, who are generally overlooked.
I attempted to be a resource for younger students of color at Haverford and mentor them as students in the past helped me.
TRANS INCLUSIVITY COMMITTEE, WOMEN*S CENTER, PEER AWARENESS FACILITATORS, TRI-CO FILM FESTIVAL 2015
Acts of inclusion must confront the fact that non-white, non-cis, non-straight, non-able, non-binary folks are often excluded from many spaces.
I have spent my time and energy confronting issues of gender equality and (mis)treatment, transgender safety and inclusion, justice and resources for those who have experienced sexual assault, disability services and justice and issues of access to care for mental health.
These are all issues of personal significance to my identity, and where I have found Haverford comes up short.
ALLIANCE OF LATIN ZENSHIP, UPPER CLASS ADVISORS, TRANSFORMATIVE INCLUSIVE DIVERSITY ENGAGEMENT (TIDE)
Inclusion is including all experiences, but especially the silenced and historically marginalized experiences.
Race is an issue important to me because it informs one’s experience of the world.
It factors into the opportunities one has, as the system values and privileges whiteness over people of color.
“Sherilyn is extraordinarily dedicated to celebrating diversity both in individual conversations and through on-campus leadership. She is always willing to talk openly and honestly with people about different issues and is incredibly empathetic.”
- Classmate, Class of 2016
JEE SOO KANG
CENTER FOR PEACE & GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP, PHILADELPHIA FUTURE, ASIAN AMERICANS UNITED (PHIL), HONOR COUNCIL ORIENTEERS, ASIAN AMERICAN RESOURCE CENTER
Inclusion, for me, has been trying to validate and value the voices, experiences, and bodies that are often silenced, marginalized, or oppressed.
I've spent a lot of time working on educational justice as well as Asian American issues.
I think education is such an important issue because there are so many inequalities within educational systems, yet schools are often looked to as the panacea to alleviate inequalities of the larger society.
QUESTBRIDGE SCHOLARS PROGRAM, CHESICK SCHOLARS, IRA D. REID BLACK CULTURAL CENTER, 8TH DIMENSION, BLACK STUDENTS LEAGUE, WOMXN OF COLOR, AMBASSADORS OF MULTICULTURAL AWARENESS, UPPER CLASS ADVISORS, CIVIC ENGAGEMENT & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY COMMITTEE
Inclusion means having a space open to all experiences, but also self selective. Those who enter it are willing to learn and engage in dialogue, but do not necessarily share a sense of camaraderie with the other people in the space.
“Renee is always thinking of ways to reach out to diverse communities to learn about their needs and work towards providing some assistance. She is a leader among many groups on campus and her commitment to service is exemplary.”
- Raisa Williams, 8th Dimension
MULTICULTURAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM, SEXUALITY AND GENDER ALLIANCE, CUSTOMS PEOPLE, PEER AWARENESS FACILITATORS, HAVERFORD COLLEGE QUAKER COMMUNITY, FRIENDS COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL LEGISLATION
Real, radical inclusion means loving people into the center of our communities; recognizing and taking responsibility for systems and behaviors that create non-inclusive spaces; not just tolerating someone, but fully recognizing them as equals.
I've worked a lot at challenging uninformed notions of culture and identity, and in particular I've worked hard to try and reframe the campus conversation about queer and trans* students.
TRI-CO INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE, MULTICULTURAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM, HAVERFORD ASIAN STUDENT ASSOCIATION, ASIAN AMERICAN RESOURCE CENTER, ASIAN AMERICANS UNITED (PHIL), DANCE OUTREACH PROGRAM (BMC), FOLK ARTS-CULTURAL TREASURES CHARTER SCHOOL (PHIL)
Inclusivity allows those of different opinions and backgrounds to feel that those differences are valued and celebrated.
I have been particularly dedicated to creating spaces that allow Asian and Asian American students to share their experiences with each other and with the campus at large.
Intentional spaces are more and more necessary for refuting the stereotype of Asians as an identical, industrious monolith.
UPPER CLASS ADVISORS, OFFICE OF MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS, MENTOR FOR PHILLY, TEACHING AND LEARNING INSTITUTE (BMC)
Inclusion means meeting, accepting, and reaching out to people where they are with the intention of creating a community that is stronger because of the experiential differences between the people who make it up.
Education is a huge part of people's upbringing in the United States as it is mandatory. Therefore, it's especially important that educational work respect the students as humans and individuals, and work within a critical race and social justice oriented framework.
FEM-SEX DISCUSSION GROUP, FEMINISTS UNITED, WOMXN OF COLOR, CENTER FOR PEACE & GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP, WHITEHEAD INTERNSHIP PROGRAM, HONOR CODE ORIENTEER, LUNT CAFÉ
Inclusion is an intentional and active commitment to fostering awareness, visibility, and diversity of peoples. It recognizes and encourages the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions, and creates space and value for difference, rather than erasing or ignoring it.
I have put much of my energy and effort in addressing issues and tensions of race, gender/sexuality, and sexual violence/boundary violations.
“Dipaali's commitment to justice is bold and uncompromising. She approaches others with empathy yet takes ownership over her own boundaries.”
- Classmate, Class of 2016
AMBASSADORS OF MULTICULTURAL AWARENESS, CUSTOMS PEOPLE, LUTHERAN SETTLEMENT HOUSE
To me, inclusion is a verb not a noun. Inclusion is the active thought that goes into making sure everyone will feel safe and respected, or at the very least that they are allowed to take up the space that they take.
I have devoted much of my time and energy to my identity as a woman of color, and lately, as an Asian woman of color.
I have worked alongside many wonderful Asian/American students and staff to help create a space for us on campus, because so many times we're seen as invisible.
MELLON-MAYS UNDERGRADUATE FELLOWS, QUESTBRIDGE SCHOLARS PROGRAM, TRI-CO INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE, IRA D. REID BLACK CULTURAL CENTER, CENTER FOR PEACE & GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP, BLACK STUDENTS LEAGUE, WOMXN OF COLOR, SISTA CIRCLES, ALLIANCE OF LATIN AMERICAN STUDENTS
Inclusion is to give the folks with the least access to spaces the capacity and access to occupy the center of our communities. It also means creating community-based spaces for certain identities so that they can have safe(r) spaces without the fear or anxiety of another identity co-opting that space from them.
A lot of my work on campus has been around issues of racism and sexism, or the lack of spaces addressing race and gender as identities.
It intersects with wealth, class, sexuality, gender expression, and other identities, which reflect the larger issues in our nation and world.
These are also the identities that have been transgressed against during my time at Haverford.
TRI-CO SUMMER INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE, CENTER FOR PEACE & GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP
Inclusion is making spaces in which it is clear that the experiences of all who enter it are valid and valuable contributions to our understanding of the world.
I participated in efforts to protest the nomination of Robert Birgeneau to receive an honorary degree, based on his support for the violent suppression of peaceful speech.
I felt that this was crucial in order to create an environment in which it was clear that voices of dissent were honored both on other campuses and our own, as well as to affirm our opposition to gratuitous violence.
QUESTBRIDGE SCHOLARS PROGRAM, CHESICK SCHOLARS, MULTICULTURAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM IRA D. REID BLACK CULTURAL CENTER, BLACK STUDENTS LEAGUE, HAVERFORD CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, ACTION AIDS (PHIL)
Inclusion is the state of having every person seen and heard equally in a space. Every person is respected as an individual because of their uniqueness in a collectively diverse group.
While at Haverford, the majority of my community work has been centered around racial justice.
Racial injustice is so important to me because it is an epidemic that has been victorious in the United States since this nation's inception.
While race relations in the US have been getting better over time, we continue to relapse. There is surely a lot of work that still needs to be done to further decrease the racial injustice that continues to plague our planet.