March 5, 2021
TO: Mills College Faculty and Staff
FROM: Beth Hillman
SUBJECT: Mills: Inside and Out
This week Moe Hay Mar Kaung, Class of 2022, held an Instagram event to raise awareness and funds for a cause especially important to her as the lone Burmese student at Mills: The dire threat that military action and civil rights violations pose to Myanmar and its people. She suggested learning more by reading about the recent military coup and the toll of the pandemic in Myanmar. Spurring greater action in support of democratic resistance to oppression around the world is an example of the brave, global student activism that makes Mills such a special place. I'm grateful for Moe Hay's courage and leadership, and for the support that the Muslim Student Alliance at Mills, led by Haifa Algabri, provided for this week's event, which is still accepting donations. At a time when violence and discrimination against Asian Americans has increased and deserves heightened attention in the US and in the San Francisco Bay Area, this effort is a reminder of the importance of global human rights, and pandemic recovery, beyond US borders.
March is women's history month, and there's no shortage of events being held to celebrate and learn more about people often excluded from mainstream historical accounts. Women of color remain underrepresented in leadership roles in higher education, a reality made clear in a report of the American Council on Education, and the pandemic's disproportionate impact on women is likely to exacerbate existing disparities unless we repair the economic and professional harms COVID-19 has caused. If you aspire to become part of, or to support, inclusive leadership within higher education and beyond, consider adding a global perspective through Brookings' coverage of COVID's impact in Africa, including its disproportionate impact on women and girls.
I hope it's a peaceful weekend ahead as vaccine distribution continues to expand and we look forward to when Alameda County can exit the most restrictive tier of COVID-19 restriction.