Service to Diversity, Class of 2017
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 2017 Reception
Class of 2017 Honorees
AMBASSADOR FOR MULTICULTURAL AWARENESS (AMA), BLACK STUDENTS LEAGUE (BSL), IRA DE A. REID HOUSE RESIDENT, TRI-CO SOCIAL JUSTICE SUMMER INSTITUTE
Inclusion is the allowance for authentic voice: the voice that feels safe and free to be unapologetic. To be inclusive, a space has to be acknowledging, accommodating, and supportive.
As a very active member of BSL and a resident of the Ira de A. Reid House, I have also been committed to being a support system to students of color. These positions allowed me to fulfill my passion of being a resource to students of color who may feel unsure of their place within Haverford and how to navigate the social and academic atmosphere here.
HAVERFORD ASIAN STUDENTS ASSOCIATION (HASA), CENTER FOR PEACE & GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP (CPGC) INTERN, INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS RESOURCE PERSON (ISRP)
Inclusion is when everyone who wants to participate can and feels comfortable doing so.
I am particularly interested in the Asian American experience. At Haverford, my Asianness and my Americanness have separately been emphasized depending on the people and the situation. Through HASA, I have encountered many other Asian American and Asian international students who also share this experience. This issue is important to me because being an Asian American has been a point of connection with and disconnection from people around me.
BLACK STUDENTS LEAGUE (BSL), MIXED IDENTITY ALLIANCE (MIA) TRI-CO SOCIAL JUSTICE SUMMER INSTITUTE, MSP, CENTER FOR PEACE & GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP INTERN (CPGC), FRANKLIN FELLOW (PROJECT HOME) PEER AWARENESS FACILITATOR (PAF), MENTORING AND STUDENT TEACHING (MAST) STUDENTS’ COUNCIL OFFICER OF MULTICULTURALISM
Inclusion involves a sense of being that transcends how each of us defines a space to offer support and solace.
PAN ASIAN RESOURCE CENTER (PARC), CAMPAIGN TO DIVERSIFY THE PRESIDENCY, THE BRIDGE CALLED MY BACK: WRITINGS BY RADICAL WOMEN OF COLOR READING GROUP, ANTI-BLACKNESS IN ASIAN COMMUNITIES WORKSHOP SERIES
Inclusion means approaching others with generosity—listening to people for who they are rather than who you want them to be. I think "inclusion" is often misused in order to stifle difficult conversations and progress. When our internal biases and prejudices are challenged, we may in fact feel excluded, but that doesn't mean we should disengage. I think true inclusion brings up a lot of buried conflicts and sometimes is actually a really difficult process.
I have mostly focused on race, particularly from an Asian American perspective. Haverford is really where I developed my own racial context—as a mixed person, before college I kind of preferred to not think too much about race because I felt so confused about my own identity. At Haverford, as I came into an awareness of myself as an Asian American woman I began to also learn about the importance of solidarity with other groups of color and the intersections of race and gender.
TRI-CO SOCIAL JUSTICE SUMMER INSTITUTE, MSP, OFFICE OF MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS INTERN, ALLIANCE OF LATIN AMERICAN STUDENTS (ALAS)
Inclusion is the deliberate effort to be welcoming to all people as well as the understanding of biases and histories and legacies of oppression.
I have devoted much of my time to issues surrounding the Latinx identity at Haverford, issues in Latin America and immigration. I have been part of the ALAS and been involved with the Latin American Iberian, and Latino Studies and Spanish departments. These issues are important to me personally as a Latinx student who has worked and lived in a Latinx immigrant community for most of my life. I have attempted to delve deeper into these issues throughout my collegiate career and gain new perspectives and tools to enact change for this community in the future.
BLACK STUDENTS LEAGUE (BSL), QUESTBRIDGE SCHOLAR, MSP
Inclusion, for me, means creating a space where all feel welcome to be and encouraged to participate. More importantly, its a space where different ideas can be explored with the intention of understanding and learning.
I was a co-head of the BSL. I had the responsibility of creating safe spaces, initiating dialogue about race and important issues affecting the black community with the greater Haverford community, and trying to create, strengthen, and empower the black community as well as the more general people of color community at Haverford. I was also president/liaison of our QuestBridge Scholars chapter. We tried to foster dialogue about what it meant to be a first generation, low income student at Haverford.
ALEXIS (SCHAF) SCHAFSNITZ
AMBASSADOR FOR MULTICULTURAL AWARENESS (AMA), QUESTBRIDGE SCHOLAR, MSP
Inclusion is when a person is able to acknowledge and celebrate the different facets of their identity and how these facets are combined and contribute to their lives.
I have focused my time and energy on promoting inclusion of people from low-income backgrounds at Haverford, working to remind people that we deserve to be here just as much as those from upper income backgrounds.
BLACK STUDENTS LEAGUE (BSL), MIXED IDENTITY ALLIANCE (MIA), STUDENTS’ COUNCIL OFFICER OF ATHLETICS
Inclusion means creating a space in which everyone feels accepted and that their identities are valued and recognized.
I focused a lot of my career on inclusion and safe space. After experiencing my own discomfort and frustration with others concerning many of my social identities, I wanted to ensure that everyone could feel welcome in space and ensure that their identity was validated.
CENTER FOR PEACE & GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP (CPGC) INTERN, QUESTBRIDGE SCHOLAR, FEMINISTS UNITED (FU), RETHINK INCARCERATION, IRA DE A. REID HOUSE RESIDENT, TRANSFORMATIVE AND INCLUSIVE DIVERSE ENGAGEMENT (TIDE), TRI-CO SOCIAL JUSTICE SUMMER INSTITUTE
Inclusion to me means that voices that have been historically silenced by force get heard, made visible, and validated in any and every space.
I have focused my on-campus work on pushing for initiatives and conversations concerning race and gender, and how such factors affect how students navigate certain spaces on campus and are cared for.
JUANITA ST. THOMAS-GRIMES
WOMYN OF COLOR, BLACK STUDENTS LEAGUE (BSL), AMBASSADOR FOR MULTICULTURAL AWARENESS (AMA), WOMEN*S CENTER, TRI-CO SOCIAL JUSTICE SUMMER INSTITUTE
Inclusion is the ability to make space and acknowledge the differences in a community make it a stronger force for change.
I've spent majority of my time at Haverford championing self-care. It's so important that we take care of our bodies as vessels of change. If I'm outside going to school, working, participating in track, giving, giving, giving, then I'm not taking care of myself. I promote doing something to bring yourself joy everyday. Sometimes I fall short but I make sure to keep trying; and I think it's important that as students and as people we need people to support us in those moments as well as the celebratory ones.
TRANSFORMATIVE AND INCLUSIVE DIVERSE ENGAGEMENT (TIDE), BLACK STUDENTS LEAGUE (BSL), AMBASSADOR FOR MULTICULTURAL AWARENESS (AMA), RUFUS M. JONES LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE, TRI-CO SOCIAL JUSTICE SUMMER INSTITUTE, ACCESS & DISABILITY SERVICES (ADS) STUDENT ADVISORY BOARD
Inclusion is when your differences are acknowledged and embraced rather than ignored or invalidated.
I struggled a lot at Haverford because of my race and I wanted to improve the social climate for future Fords in the hopes that their experiences would be better than mine. I also spent time addressing ability. Ableism is extremely commonplace in all aspects of Haverford and it often goes unnoticed or gets downplayed. Accessibility is of the utmost importance because it's all encompassing. There are multiple instances where disability prevents people from being full participants in the community in ways that other identities do not.
PEER AWARENESS FACILITATOR (PAF), TRI-CO WOMXN OF COLOR CONFERENCE
Inclusion to me means to empower and give voice and agency to people who have been marginalized due to the color of their skin, sexuality, gender identification, class, etc. It also means constant self-reflections.
I care lot of about womxn of color and also international students affairs at Haverford. Most people do not think they intersect but they really do. A lot of people of color that are international experience both the challenges of racism, sexism, etc. and do not have the rights that citizens do and have few channels of protection.