Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Updates at Bard College

Dean Kahan Sablo.

Campus Life Update

From Kahan Sablo, Dean of Inclusive Excellence
Welcome to the second year of the [email protected] Newsletter. It has been my honor to serve as your Dean of Inclusive Excellence thus far, and I am happy to welcome DEI Program Coordinator Haron Atkinson to the team. As an institution, we should be proud of the many DEI accomplishments that have occurred over the past year. However, there is still more work to be done both nationally and locally. Read Dean Sablo's Update

Dean Kahan Sablo.
Dean Deirdre d'Albertis.

Academic Life Update

From Deirdre d'Albertis, Dean of the College and Professor of English
The College continues its Academic Program Inclusion Challenge in 2021–22, funding proposals from Anthropology, Asian Studies, American Studies, Architecture, Dance, History, Literature, Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic, Photography, Theater and Performance, Written Arts, and Experimental Humanities. Stay tuned for updates on the projects funded and work underway this academic year to support diversity, equity, and inclusion goals across the divisions. For many of these programs, successful proposals built on work begun last year (or even earlier) since the establishment of the Inclusion Challenge in early 2019 by the Office of the Dean of the College and then–Dean of Inclusive Excellence Ariana Gonzalez-Stokas. If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to contact Associate Dean of the College Michael Sadowski ([email protected]).

Dean Deirdre d'Albertis.

An Update on the Transition for Afghan Students

The Afghan Student Transition Team has been preparing for the arrival of Afghan students to the Annandale campus over the course of the past few months. We were thrilled to welcome four new students on Sunday, November 7. Over 20 students have been accepted to arrive in January with still more applications being reviewed. Preparing a proper welcome has been the job of our team. Here are just a few updates on those preparations.

Upcoming Events for National Native American Heritage Month


National Native American Heritage Month Display
Learn more about the history of the land that Bard College occupies. Resources regarding Native American culture and history will also be on display.
November 1–30, Stevenson Library

The National Day of Mourning
The fourth Thursday in November is recognized as the National Day of Mourning. The organizers of this observance consider “Thanksgiving Day” a continued reminder of the democide and suffering of Native American people.
Thursday, November 25

“The Enchanted Forest” Video Presentation and Discussion
Christopher Lindner, Director, Bard Archeology Field School, and Archeologist in Residence
Monday, November 29, 5:30 p.m., Zoom, meeting ID: 893 8684 2530; password: 133367

Anti-Semitism Past and Present Lecture Series

This lecture series, held throughout the 2021–22 academic year, will explore the ongoing phenomenon of antisemitism by examining its myriad historical contexts and relationships to other forms of prejudice and hatred. Upcoming lecture: Antisemitism and Christianity: Reckoning with the Christian Roots of Antisemitism and Racism in the Post-World War II World, Magda Teter, Fordham University, Tuesday, November 30, 6–7:30 pm, Campus Center, Weis Cinema. Event Details

News from Bard's Graduate Programs

Bard MAT alum Xhosa Frazier ’10 teaching a group of high school visitors from area districts.

Bard College Receives Teacher Opportunity Corps Grant from State Education Department to Help Build a More Diverse Teacher Workforce

Bard College’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program recently received a $325,000 New York State Education Department Teacher Opportunity Corps II (TOC II) grant. This grant will support Bard’s efforts to increase the participation rate of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals in teaching careers. Funds will be used to strengthen Bard’s TOC II recruitment program, teacher preparation and mentoring, and teacher retention.  Full Story

Bard MAT alum Xhosa Frazier ’10 teaching a group of high school visitors from area districts.
Opening, 16th Annual Art Exhibition, 1957. Atlanta University Photographs Collection, Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library.

CCS Bard Convenes Leading Scholars to Explore How Black Art and Blackness Have Been Framed through Contemporary Exhibition-Making

The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) presents Reshaping the Field: Arts of the African Diasporas on Display, a scholarly conference that explores a selection of pioneering exhibitions over the past century that have shaped the contemporary understanding of Black art.  Full Story

Opening, 16th Annual Art Exhibition, 1957. Atlanta University Photographs Collection, Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library.
Bard Center for Environmental Policy.

Bard Graduate Programs Year in Review

Bard's Master of Arts in Teaching Program, The Orchestra Now, Bard Graduate Center, and the Graduate Programs in Sustainability provide updates on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in the 2020–21 academic year. Thanks to a generous grant from the Open Society University Network, the Bard MAT Program is undertaking a study of how it supports graduate students with learning and emotional needs. The Orchestra Now has committed to a range of initiatives including performance of diverse composers, masterclasses and admission partnerships abroad, and hosting guest conductors Carlos Miguel Prieto and Joseph Young for the 2021–22 season. The Bard Graduate Center is publishing a series of DEI newsletters, and has announced the hiring of Ama Codjoe as its consulting director of equity and inclusion. Bard Graduate Programs in Sustainability has released its Anti-Racisim and Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Roadmap, led by DEI consultants and Bard MBA alumni/ae Lauren Hill MBA ’18 and Martin Freeman MBA ’18. Full Story

Bard Center for Environmental Policy.

News and Notes

Election 2020 at Bard College. Photo by Sonita Alizada ’23

New York Appeals Court Unanimously Affirms Bard Campus Polling Site

On October 29, the New York Appellate Division unanimously affirmed the decision of Dutchess County Supreme Court Judge Maria Rosa to situate a polling place on the Bard College campus for District 5 voters. The unanimous four-Judge Appellate Division panel agreed with Judge Rosa and the Petitioners Bard College, faculty, and students on all counts. The appeals court found that, following Bard’s prior 2020 litigation victory which resulted in polling location on campus, Commissioner Haight’s continued efforts in 2021 to prevent on-campus voting were “arbitrary and capricious.” Full Story

Election 2020 at Bard College. Photo by Sonita Alizada ’23

Stevenson Library Launches Diversity Audit

In the spring of 2021, the library launched a diversity audit of our print collection. This will be an ongoing and evolving process that will help the library develop a diverse and inclusive collection going forward. Librarians Kate Laing and Alexa Murphy gave a presentation on the process of launching the audit at ConnectNY’s Collaboration Day conference in June. 

Disability Access Services Office Expands with New Staff

The Disability Access Services Office at Bard has had some exciting changes this fall. The team has expanded with new staff: a new director, Erin Braselmann; a new program associate, Rachel Flynn; and a new administrative assistant, Megan Brien. The office has also relocated to the Olin Humanities building in room 106. The main focus of the office is to provide disability-related accommodations for students to ensure they have equitable access to the campus. Additionally, the staff aims to take a more holistic approach to supporting the disability community at Bard; in this regard, they have launched student support groups this semester for neurodivergent individuals and students living with chronic illness. More about Disability Access Services

Photo by AnnAnn Puttithanasorn ’23

West Point Cadets Visit Campus for Women in Leadership Class

Cadets from the US Military Academy at West Point joined Bard's Women in Leadership class on Friday, October 29, as part of the Bard–West Point Initiative, which brings together students from the two campuses to collaborate in and out of the classroom. The class—taught by Dierdre d’Albertis, Erin Cannan, and Malia Du Mont ’95—met in the Chapel followed by lunch and a campus tour. Women in Leadership, LIT 131, is an Engaged Liberal Arts and Sciences course that examines the stories we tell ourselves and each other about equality, representation, privilege, freedom, authority, and success, both here in the US and in other cultures. The course focuses on learning from women who are committed to making a difference in the world through their personal and professional choices, reading texts from across disciplines and from a range of perspectives. By the end of the semester, students bring theory and practice together to identify a story only they can tell, whether it is based in political activism, community engagement, or work experience.

Photo by AnnAnn Puttithanasorn ’23

Bard Alumna Hannah Bronfman ’11 Brings Equity Focus to Start-Ups

Bard alum Hannah Bronfman has left a “discreet but indelible” mark on popular culture as a DJ, on-camera personality, author, brand muse, and founder of the health, beauty, and fitness platform HBFIT. Bronfman spoke recently on the topic of “Fighting inequality with money: investing in Black-owned businesses” at the C2 Montréal Commerce and Creativity conference. Full Story

Bard Alumna, Journalist Evan Nicole Brown ’16 Talks with Dear White People Star Logan Browning about Black College Life on Hollywood Remixed Podcast

The Hollywood Reporter‘s new culture writer, Evan Nicole Brown, joins the inclusion-themed Hollywood Remixed podcast with Dear White People star Logan Browning to look at how film and TV have depicted the Black college experience at both historically Black colleges and universities as well as predominantly white institutions. Both Browning and Brown chose to attend PWIs and they discuss their experience compared to their peers who attended HBCUs.​​ Full Story

Professor Lucy Sante. Photo by AnnAnn Puttithanasorn ’23

East Village Author, Bard Professor Lucy Sante Weaves Together Fiction and Memoir in New Collection of Essays 

“Author Lucy Sante is at an interesting point in her life, looking backward and forward simultaneously,” writes Bob Krasner for the Villager. Between the creation of her latest book, a collection of essays entitled Maybe the People Would Be the Times, and its actual publication, “Sante has entered a new phase of her life [...] In her mid-60s, Sante has recently come out as transgender, changed her name and is happily living her life with a new set of pronouns.” Lucy Sante is visiting professor of writing and photography at Bard College. She has been a member of the faculty since 1999. Full Story

Professor Lucy Sante. Photo by AnnAnn Puttithanasorn ’23
Michael Sadowski

“I’m LGBTQIAP+… & gay”: Commentary by Michael Sadowski

In a LGBTQ Nation commentary for National Coming Out Day, Associate Dean of the College Michael Sadowski discusses his pride and solidarity in being part of a community whose expressions of sexuality and gender are so expansive, fluid, and diverse that we need eight initials and a plus sign to contain them. “At the same time,” he writes, “when I think about my own coming out, my old-fashioned gayness keeps calling to me, too." Full Story

Michael Sadowski
Senator Michelle Hinchey and Verónica Martínez-Cruz (L-R)

Bard College Baccalaureate Student Verónica Martínez-Cruz ’24 Receives New York State Senate Commendation Award

Human Rights and Global Public Health major Verónica Martínez-Cruz has been honored for her work to bridge language barriers and ensure full and equal participation of Hispanic residents in all aspects of civic, economic, and cultural life in the Hudson Valley. State Senator Michelle Hinchey (D-Saugerties) presented Martínez-Cruz with a New York State Senate Commendation Award. “Verónica Martínez-Cruz is doing incredible work to build language justice in the Hudson Valley and create inclusive multilingual spaces that empower our Hispanic community to participate equally in our society,” Hinchey said. Full Story

Senator Michelle Hinchey and Verónica Martínez-Cruz (L-R)
An image from the 2019 exhibition <em>Gilsonfest: The Exceptional Journey of Alexander Gilson</em>, a Bard College–led collaboration with local partners.

Nineteenth-Century Black Master Gardener of Montgomery Place Honored with Cemetery Marker

The 19th-century Black master gardener who tended hundreds of plants and an arboretum at Montgomery Place, who hybridized two flower species, and who mentored white gardeners in Rhinebeck was recognized with a plaque astride his burial place at the Methodist Church Cemetery on Cherry Street in Red Hook. In an interview, Bard Professor Myra Young Armstead discusses the fascinating history of Alexander Gilson. Full Story

An image from the 2019 exhibition Gilsonfest: The Exceptional Journey of Alexander Gilson, a Bard College–led collaboration with local partners.
A biographical picture of Constantina Zavitsanos depicts them in overalls, camouflage, and paisley. Their skin is white and their hair is dark, curly, and half tucked under a hat. Photo by Allison Harris.

Artist Constantina Zavitsanos Appointed as 2021–22 Keith Haring Fellow in Art and Activism at Bard College

The Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS Bard) and Bard College’s Human Rights Project have named artist Constantina Zavitsanos as the 2021–22 recipient of the Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism. Made possible by the Keith Haring Foundation, the Haring Fellowship is an annual award that brings a prominent scholar, activist, or practicing artist to teach and conduct research on Bard’s campus. Working in sculpture, performance, text, and sound, Zavitsanos deals in the material reproduction of debt, dependency, and means beyond measure. They are a widely recognized leader in investigating what is at stake for art and politics in a real encounter with disability and dependence—not as opposed to labor or autonomy or life, they argue, but as an essential starting point for understanding them. Full Story

A biographical picture of Constantina Zavitsanos depicts them in overalls, camouflage, and paisley. Their skin is white and their hair is dark, curly, and half tucked under a hat. Photo by Allison Harris.
MLK Rally and March in Oakland, California. Photo by Peg Hunter.

New Study Published by the Bard Center for the Study of Hate Creates New Measure for the Study and Understanding of Hate in the United States

“Hate is not the status quo. Whenever hate arises as a motivation for violence, we are witnessing a break in what is normal,” writes political scientist Robert Tynes in his new State of Hate Index (SoHI), just published by The Bard Center for the Study of Hate. This new study examines how hate manifests, and is constrained, in the 50 states of the United States, looking at multiple indicators in order to suggest where hate might be more likely to occur. Full Story

MLK Rally and March in Oakland, California. Photo by Peg Hunter.
Myra Young Armstead, vice president for academic inclusive excellence and Lyford Paterson Edwards and Helen Gray Edwards Professor of Historical Studies at Bard College

Professor Myra Young Armstead’s Report Suggests Adding Interpretive Signs to Rhinebeck Post Office Murals Rather Than Removing Them

Murals by artist Olin Dows in the Rhinebeck, New York, post office “correctly—yet disturbingly—reflect the racialized social hierarchy from the past in the town and region that would otherwise be invisible to the public,” writes Bard Professor Myra Young Armstead in a report commissioned by the town board. “This is a critically important feature of history that needs to be preserved.” Armstead recommends that interpretive signage or art be added to the post office lobby to counter Dows’s simplistic scenes, rather than removing the work entirely. Full Story

Myra Young Armstead, vice president for academic inclusive excellence and Lyford Paterson Edwards and Helen Gray Edwards Professor of Historical Studies at Bard College
Anthony Hecht at the Iowa Writer's Workshop in 1947.

“More Light! More Light!”: Edward Hirsch on the Poetry of Anthony Hecht ’44

In an essay for The Hudson Review, Hirsch explores how the vexed representation of Jews in the modern canon influenced the life and work of Anthony Hecht, who graduated from Bard in 1944 and taught at the College from 1952–55 and 1962–66. Full Story

Anthony Hecht at the Iowa Writer's Workshop in 1947.