Refuse the Silence

After Graduating from Middlebury in ‘08, Morgane Richardson founded Refuse the Silence, a site dedicated to telling the stories of women of color at elite liberal-arts colleges (see post). The organization’s larger objective is to help administrations better address all students’ needs—or, if college officials don’t listen, the site aims to provide some support on its own through the sharing of experiences and stories.

A number of Middlebury students, including Richardson and Alana Jenkins ’12, write for Refuse the Silence.  A couple of other MiddKids are also featured in video interviews on the site, whose coverage has begun to spread to more students at more colleges (still mostly in New England).  In her interview, Dee Lopez ‘11 says the single best way to address the needs of women of color at elite universities is to “listen.” So, let’s listen to her:

Refuse the Silence posted another interview on the 21st, with Mukui Mbindyo ’11. It’s interesting to compare their perspectives.


3 thoughts on “Refuse the Silence

  1. Thanks so much for posting this JP. And thanks, Dee, for sharing your perspective.

    From the interview:
    “lots of people on campus assume that we’re here because of affirmative action” … “honestly I feel like I’m just a number on this campus because they put us on campus for your benefit” … “they put us on campus to say hey, we have some diversity kids on campus”

    Affirmative action is a complicated issue, and I am quite honestly still making my mind up about it. One thought I’m having: there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for this issue across the diverse set of institutions in our country.

    But I think the sentiment I quoted above is very, very important to consider (even if you are “in favor” of affirmative action, regardless of whatever that means to you).

  2. Thank you for spreading the message about Refuse The Silence to students at Middlebury and alumns. RTS has been a rewarding experience over the last couple of years. I hope people continue to take the time to listen to these women’s stories!

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