We embrace plurality, respect divergent viewpoints, and are committed to understanding the rich spectrum of experiences that comprise our community.Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at Bard seeks to materialize our commitment to plurality, dialogue, and rigorous study. We strive to create a learning environment that upholds the College’s mission to meaningfully include the voices, works, and ideas of communities and cultures historically marginalized in liberal arts and sciences education. DEI at Bard aims to work at the systemic as well as the interpersonal level to address the implicit and explicit ways racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, and religious discrimination impact the learning process.
Local Juneteenth Celebrations
Bard College was proud to observe Juneteenth on Monday, June 20, 2022. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas, origin in 1865, the observance of June 19 as the African-American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. Juneteenth became a federal holiday when signed into law by President Joe Biden on June 17, 2021.
Juneteenth’s commemoration is on the anniversary date of the June 19, 1865, announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army General Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom for enslaved people in Texas, which was the last state of the Confederacy with institutional slavery.
Today, Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and, in some areas, a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics, and family gatherings.
As we celebrate Juneteenth, let us be inspired to engage one another across the Bard community and beyond, and embrace the fact that the diversity in our community is one of Bard’s great strengths.
The Office of the Dean of Inclusive Excellence would like to call to your attention the many events that celebrated Juneteenth throughout the Hudson Valley, a selection of which are listed below.
Excerpts from Juneteenth Address Given by Vice President for Academic Inclusive Excellence Myra Young Armstead
On June 2, 1865, United States Union forces finally breached what had been an impregnable stronghold of the Confederacy, the Texas border. Only a few battles had been fought there along the Gulf Coast during the Civil War. These had resulted in northern defeats allowing Texas to maintain cotton plantations, manufacturing centers, railroad lines, and even prison-of-war camps for the southern cause. So secure was Texas from penetration that following the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation many enslavers from neighboring rebel states confidently relocated Black people to the Lone Star State in order to safeguard them against liberation, which slaveowners still understood as confiscation. Finally, on June 19, 1865, as Union forces established a stable presence in the state and as the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery made its way through the country for state-by-state ratification, Major General Gordon Granger in Houston issued #3 of the army’s General Orders: “The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States all slaves are free.”
What We Do
DEI collaborates with faculty, staff, and students on learning, teaching, student development, institutional functioning, and engagement in local and global communities. In an increasingly intertwined and rapidly changing world, we are dedicated to a rigorous examination of the institutions and structures that sustain inequality. Above all, we maintain an ongoing commitment to decreasing the distance between these ideals and our everyday realities.
The Council for Inclusive Excellence (CIE) sponsors and cosponsors campus-wide events such as speakers, panels, and movie screenings that relate to social justice, intercultural communication, equity, and inclusion. The council is committed to making Bard an environment that is supportive of communities historically marginalized in liberal arts and sciences education.
Ackowledging Bard's Origins
Bard College acknowledges that its origins are intertwined with the systems of racial injustice that have been a part of this nation’s history from its foundations.
Student clubs related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at the College include the Bard Christian Fellowship, the Latin American Student Organization, and the Trans Lyfe Collective. For more information about these and other clubs, visit student.bard.edu/clublist.
Gilson Place: Dedicated in Support of Students of Color
Gilson Place, formerly Grey Stone Cottage, is a space dedicated to the advancement of students of color. Bard faculty and student leaders collaborated on its recent renovation and redesign. Gilson Place supports the academic, personal, and social success of members of the Bard community historically underrepresented in liberal arts and sciences education and fosters dialogue about race and culture on campus. The space is named for Alexander Gilson (c. 1824–89), an African American who labored for 50 years at Montgomery Place, now part of the Bard College campus. Gilson became head gardener at Montgomery Place and eventually opened up his own nursery business.
Statement of Solidarity with Armenian and Indigenous Peoples
Bard College stands in solidarity with all Armenian and Indigenous peoples in recognition of April 24 as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.
Spotlight on the Posse Program
The Posse Foundation recruits talented public high school students who might have been overlooked by traditional college selection processes, forming them into supportive Posses and connecting them with participating colleges. Every year Bard accepts a Posse of 10 students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential, offering them full-tuition scholarships.