Dear Springfield College Family,
Just over a month ago, I was on campus to receive the Distinguished Alumna award. During the weekend, the warm and welcoming actions of students, faculty and staff delighted my guests and reinforced why I value Springfield College. The expressions of courtesy and my attempt to carry the cloak of “distinguished” allowed me to let some pride inside. I was being honored for decades of work in equality and social justice, particularly as I have impacted the spirit and letter of the Title IX law and women and girls in education.
In my official response to the College I wrote, “I have held onto the Triangle’s symbolic meaning ever since – and I have continued to stand up, speak out, and advocate for social justice.” As promised, and as a result of the Cheney Hall’s offensive incident against transgendered peoples, I have neither a choice nor do I find it a challenge to add my voice and promote open discussion regarding diversity, included but not limited to LGBTQ concerns. A Foundations of Multicultural class is merely that, unless the crucial intent of Dr. Dan Zukergood’s panel and his students goes well beyond the room, the dining hall, the campus and any moment in time. When I read that, “The larger-scale problem is that these comments did not come from an isolated group of misguided individuals…(but) from a number of sources,” I was sickened and my pride was more than bruised. The way the college community responds is the measure of its value to me. I join with Dr. Zukergood and all of the others who are committed to making it better.
Phyllis K. Lerner