Mourning, Intersectionality, and Hope, Part I: Don’t Be Selective

We have been focusing our  vigils on  shedding light in places where the inquiry and fervor of the media does not go. To vigil means to “pay attention” and to be “watchful.” Members of our diverse community are often directly affected by violence in contexts which are largely ignored by the media. On 4/16, members of EKTA, the South Asian Student organization, came forward to both mourn and protest the violence in Pakistan where a terror attack took place on Easter Sunday. Below are the opening remarks and the words from one of the student speakers, Mahnoor Latif, who shared her powerful statement. Continue reading

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Understanding Quaker Worship

Sitting in an hour of silence might not be the typical way to spend a weekend morning. But that’s exactly what I did on Sunday at the Northampton Friends Meeting.

Quaker worship is based on silent waiting, with the expectation of coming into the presence of God. Worshiping in silence brings the community together through love and faithfulness.  During this silent worship, anyone may feel inspired to speak and share a message. While at the Meeting, I listened to people who rose to their feet and shared their story. Continue reading

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Smith College Festival of Sound and Space


There is no better way to recharge from a hectic day than by listening to the relaxing sounds of the guitar. That’s exactly what I did last Wednesday, when I attended the Athens Guitar Duo concert, held as part of the fifth season of Smith College Festival of Sound and Space. Continue reading

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Mourning, Intersectionality, and Hope, Part I: # Our Three Brothers:

Our Three Brothers Banner

At the end of February, three young immigrant men, two of whom were Muslim, were tragically killed in Fort Wayne, Indiana under unknown circumstances. They were murdered “execution style” in an abandoned building that was “under surveillance” by police for “gang and violent crimes.” The young men themselves did not have gang affiliations.

Student activists, some identifying as Muslim themselves, helped bring to the attention of the Smith Campus the stark contrast between the media coverage of these deaths and the murders of  three dental students in Chapel Hill North Carolina.

The murders of Deah Barakat, Rezan Abu-Salha, and Yosur Aby-Salha, in North Carolina in March of 2015,  identified as a hate crime, brought media focus to Islamophobia and Xenophobia. Here at Smith we vigiled and mourned these deaths. It was a tragic moment. It was also a moment that helped create the opportunity for Muslim students on campus to talk about their daily fear of being targeted.* Continue reading

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Finding Zen in the Art Museum


It isn’t everyday that one gets the opportunity to practice yoga in an art museum. This past Friday, however, I found myself carrying my yoga mat into the Brown Fine Arts Center, as part of the Mindfulness & Your Museum workshop. With the museum closed with the exception of our small group, we walked through the exhibits barefoot, in awe of the artwork that stood silent in front of us. Continue reading

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Easter Sunday Services: Opportunities in the Community


Edwards Church

During Holy Week and Easter Sunday, students had the opportunity to attend local churches such as St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Edwards (United Church of Christ), St. John’s Episcopal Church and First Churches (United Church of Christ) to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The celebrations varied: Edwards and First Churches had a Service of Tenebrae which recreated the emotional aspects of the Passion story; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish had traditions ranging from Stations of the Cross, a 14-step Catholic devotion commemorating Jesus’ last day as a man on Earth, to Blessing of the Food; St. John’s had The Meditation, an all-night prayer vigil and a Contemplative Service before their Easter service on Sunday. Continue reading

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Spiritual Places: Nature Walk


Never underestimate the power of a good walk. This week, feeling fatigued and exhausted, I decided to take advantage of the sunshine by squeezing in a relaxing walk in between my classes. Heading into the woods by Paradise Pond, I was alone, with only the snapping of branches underfoot and the occasional dog walker to keep me company. Here, in this solitude, I took a mini-vacation from the stresses and demands of being a college student. Continue reading

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