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Mills: Inside and Out
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Office of the President

Mills: Inside and Out

Mills College
Presidential Communication
November 22, 2017

TO: Mills College Faculty and Staff
FROM: Beth Hillman
SUBJECT: Mills: Inside and Out

Dear all,

Before you depart to celebrate this week's holiday break, consider marking your calendars for two exciting Mills events ahead, both related to ongoing national conversations on civil rights. 

First, a special screening of Dolores, a documentary of renowned activist Dolores Huerta released in September and now showing in theaters, will take place in Littlefield Concert Hall, on February 2, 2018, at 6 p.m. We're working with PBS and the Dolores Huerta Foundation to bring this important movie to Mills, and we'll be joined by Congresswoman Barbara Lee '73 and perhaps by Ms.Huerta herself and her daughter Camila Chavez ‘98. Congresswoman Lee is a key supporter of Mills' tuition reset and spoke about her transformative experience at Mills during her keynote address at the Emerge America event last Friday in Redwood City. You can hear Congresswoman Lee describe the key role that Mills played in her start in politics on "Street Heat w/ Congresswoman Barbara Lee & Linda Sarsour," a Politically Re-Active podcast. 

Second, the Rosa Parks House, an exhibit and art installation built around the Detroit house that Ms. Parks lived in after she left Alabama, will be coming to Mills College as it returns to the United States to celebrate Parks' legacy of activism and courage. In 2016, artist Ryan Mendoza moved the house to Berlin, where he painstakingly restored it. Mills is one of four sites selected to display the house on its U.S. tour in 2018-2019; the others are Brown University, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Contemporary Art Center New Orleans. I'm grateful to Renee Jadushlever, our chief of staff and vice president for communications and external relations and Communications, for coordinating our efforts to make both the Rosa Parks House exhibit and the Dolores screening possible.

Kudos too to Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, Dr. Chicora Martin, for publishing "Perceptions Do Not Always Match Realities: Mills College Strives for Gender Justice" in a special section on "Gender-Expansive Campuses" in the current issue of Leadership Exchange: Solutions for Student Affairs Management, the magazine of the leading national association of student affairs professionals (NASPA). Chicora is a nationally recognized expert on gender justice, and their article describes Mills as "a living example of the increasingly diverse and rapidly changing" landscape of gender equity in higher education. Earlier this week, on Monday, November 20, we celebrated International Transgender Day of Remembrance on Adams Plaza to remember the transgender lives lost around the world over the past year. 

If you're looking for inspiration to remain engaged in our nation and world over the break, consider reaching out to members of Congress, and to people you know who live in other congressional districts, about the damage that would be wrought by approval of the now-pending tax bill. Details on its pernicious impact on higher education are available at the American Council on Education and NACUBO's Action Plan, as well as the attached statement of the AICCU, which describes the harm it would inflict on independent, private California colleges and universities in particular. For a more literary appeal to action, consider reading the books, most written by women, that won National Book Awards this month, or watching novelist Annie Proulx accepting a medal (at 40 minute mark on video) for her distinguished contributions to American letters last week. Proulx began her speech by noting that while she's receiving an award for lifetime achievement, she didn’t start writing until she was 58 years old. She characterized the current political situation as Kafka-esque, full of louts, disasters, and rage that threatens to shift our system from one of representative democracy to "viral, direct democracy" unless we recognize and engage the challenges upon us. As her comment about not taking up writing until her fifth decade reminds us, it's never too late to start.

Wishing you a restorative break -- and enjoy your time away knowing that Dr. Chicora Martin, and other Mills leaders, will join the students who remain on campus for a Thanksgiving feast in Founders to celebrate too.

Beth Signature

 



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Last Updated: 8/17/18