By Irene Rotondo
In continuation of the well-received and highly accredited programming from last year, the Office of Multicultural Affairs will kick off “SEAT at the Table” Week on Sunday, Oct. 17. The office is in collaboration with multiple organizations across campus, including multiple student leadership groups and the organized faculty and staff support called the Collaborative Council.
The “SEAT” acronym stands for Social Justice, Equity, Accountability and Transformation. The goal of the weeklong event is to educate the Springfield College community and beyond on not just racial injustices faced by Black people at the hands of white people, but the injustices faced by all minority groups. This includes the LGBTQIA2S+ community, those facing mental health struggles, and the full spectrum of BIPOC community members.
“We open up Oct. 17, that’s a Sunday, and we’re actually going to be opening up with remarks from students,” said Charisse DelVecchio, a graduate associate in the OMA.
“The students will be giving the opening address this year; the students who will do that are being nominated by Collaborative Council members… their opening remarks will happen at 10:00 a.m. in the Dodge Room of the Campus Union,” DelVecchio added.
Half of the 36 events will be entirely student-driven while the other half will be led by faculty and staff.
Last year, “SEAT at the Table” operated strictly over Zoom due to the pandemic. Now, the OMA plans to host half of the events in-person as well as over Zoom, giving students the opportunity to enlighten themselves over different platforms.
The OMA also recognized that its programming was an international success that created great partnerships last year, which is why the majority of the events will also be recorded to give those invested in social justice outside of the Springfield College community the chance to partake.
Those interested in participating in SEAT will need to register on the springfield.edu SEAT web page prior to the events. This will ensure that those who need information ahead of time, such as Zoom links and passwords, will have access to the events they choose to attend. Some in-person events will also have a capacity limit.
“We have a registration component… people can go to aseatatthetable.org and it’ll link you to this year’s SEAT at the Table 2021, and there you will find our event schedule, the link to register, bios to our facilitators and presenters, as well as a link to our Collaborative Council and our partners,” said Felicia Lundquist, Director of the OMA.
Last year, “SEAT at the Table” focused on events designed to make participants rethink their own privilege and day-to-day functions, including, “Are Black Names Weird, or Are You Just Racist?,” “The N-side of the N-word” and “Fostering Inclusion of LGBTQ+ Individuals in Athletics.”
This year, more events diving into the inner workings of social equity and justice have surfaced. These will include open conversations, Q&A sessions, physical demonstrations, celebrations of heritage through dance and music, athletic-based programming, reflections from members of the BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ community and so much more.
For more information, visit this link: https://springfield.edu/seat-at-the-table.
Photo Courtesy Joe Arruda