Student News

Bennington Students to Host Reflect, Rebuild, & Rise Conference

Update: March 18, 2020

Due to the rapidly evolving situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), conference sessions will be transitioning to online delivery; keep an eye on the Event Calendar for details. 

Additionally, as part of the College's policy to limit visitors during this time, guest speaker Emily Bernard will not be joining us for this event. For more information, please see the Coronavirus webpage.

On March 19, Bennington College students, faculty, and staff are invited to participate in Reflect, Rebuild, & Rise: Social Practice of Inclusion Conference. 

reflect rebuild rise logo

This first annual event is the culmination of creativity, advanced work, and collaboration on the part of members of the Bennington College Community Builders (BCCB), a student group committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive community within Bennington College.

The conference is organized by Deja’ Haley ’20, Santiago Torres ’21, and Ahmad Yassir ’20, who are currently interning for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, under the leadership of Delia Saenz, Vice President for Institutional Inclusion, Equity, and Leadership Development.

"Bennington College is more diverse than ever," said Deja' Haley and Ahmad Yassir. "Therefore, this student-led initiative aims to collaborate with the institution on making the community, as a whole, have a better experience in and outside of the classroom." 

The conference begins with an afternoon series of Diversity workshops, exhibits, and discussions led by members of the BCCB, which will be held in Commons Atrium from 2:00 - 6:00 pm. Pre-registration for these sessions is encouraged and can be done by visiting diversity.bennington.edu.

The Reflect, Rebuild, & Rise conference provides an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to learn about experiences with bias and exclusion on campus, as well as to generate ideas for advancing inclusivity. 

Concurrent sessions and keynote address ask all participants to reflect on the student experience and each person’s responsibility to acknowledge and understand bias and exclusion; rebuild the community into a model of inclusion–in practice, in scholarship, in creativity, in its demographic composition, in the equitable support of all College members; and rise to the challenge of epitomizing Bennington’s original objective: to provide access to those who are otherwise excluded from higher education. 

About the Bennington College Community Builders (BCCB)

Both as individuals and as members of distinct and intersecting identity groups, BCCB has experienced first-hand the challenges and frustration of exclusion and bias. At times, BCCB has witnessed expressed commitment to diversity and inclusion but rarely have these words yielded sustainable change. BCCB firmly believes that creating a more diverse and inclusive community is important for the well-being of the student body and the success of the College as a whole. 

The Bennington College Community Builders include Jullian Androkae ’23, Alex Briseno ’20, Rojay Bryan ’22, India Carter-Bolick ’23, Andreea Coscai ’22, Deja’ Haley ’20, Hannah Gray ’21, Clair Webb ‘20, Kaiya Kirk ’20, Marley-Rose Liburd ’22, Suzie Rejali ’21, Phoenix Stoddard ’21, Santiago Torres ’21, and Ahmad Yassir ’20.