DGALA Supports Dartmouth’s New Race, Migration and Sexuality Consortium

Pete Williams ’76 with Amanda Rosenblum ’07, November 2020
(excerpted in part in the November 2020 DGALA newsletter)

On October 15th of this year, DGALA’s board of directors, together with the Dartmouth Asian Pacific American Alumni Association (DAPAAA) Executive Board and concerned DAPAAA Alumni, wrote to President Hanlon, urging the College to provide institutional backing and long-term funding for Dartmouth’s relatively new Consortium of Studies in Race, Migration, and Sexuality (RMS Consortium). Of our Ivy League peers, Dartmouth remains the sole institution without a centralized race/ethnicity/ migration studies program, and there remains a notable lack of funding in the areas of sexuality and gender studies. DGALA believes that increased investment in this effort is a necessary step toward addressing systemic inequalities, and preparing our students to identify, tackle, and dismantle inequities across the globe.

The Consortium is directed by Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Professor Eng-Beng Lim, who was instrumental in starting the program and already making it a significant presence on campus during what is now its second year of operation. The Consortium is co-directed by Professor Kimberly Juanita Brown, and has 19 founding faculty members across the college’s departments. Notably, Matthew Garcia, professor of history and Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies and founding RMS faculty member is co-chairing the search committee for Dartmouth’s first Senior Vice President of Diversity and Equity.

DGALA and DAPAAA leaders led an awareness campaign with all alumni prior to Alumni Council that resulted in a significant number of emails about RMS being shared with alumni councilors and the Alumni Liaison committee. RMS was brought up repeatedly during Alumni Council. We hope to continue to elevate the conversation.

As a result of emails to President Hanlon and the Dean of the Faculty Professor Elizabeth Smith, the leaders have now scheduled an early November meeting with Professor Smith, whose office provided initial support for the Consortium and could be instrumental in assuring its continuation and growth.

Eng-Beng Lim
Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Professor Eng-Beng Lim

To learn more about the RMS Consortium, DGALA recently conducted a virtual interview with Professor Lim, who is Dartmouth’s first tenured professor specializing in LGBTQIA-related academics.

Would you tell us more about the Consortium?

Thank you so much for your inquiry. I have had several meetings with the leadership of DAPAAA and DGALA concerning RMS’s status and future.

RMS is driven primarily by faculty and student interest on questions of justice (economic, social, racial, gender, sexual, migrant). It has tremendous buy-in from our campus community, and has a national presence with over twenty top scholars on our advisory board.

In terms of the Consortium’s priorities, we are putting together the following:

  1. An interdisciplinary minor
  2. Strengthening our Undergraduate Scholars and Fellows program (we recruited 30 this Fall)
  3. Weekly Faculty workshops and salons, “Putting Radical Thought to Action.”
  4. Humanities Institute on Transnational and Decolonial Ethnic Studies
  5. Consortium lectures
  6. Weekly newsletter (that you can subscribe by writing to us).

Our curriculum is aligned with intersectional and decolonial approaches to questions race, migration and sexuality.

My sense is that new initiatives in academia can be a challenge to advance. What is the current status and future hopes for the Consortium?

In terms of the College’s support, Dean Smith provided generous seed funding to establish the Consortium on May 6, 2019. Our agreement was for the funding to last 12-18 months, and to then find sustainable funding after that. In the meantime, I have secured additional funding from the Leslie Center [at Dartmouth] to augment her initial infusion of funds. We hope to become a Center and/or to find reliable sources of funding. Institutional priorities and fundraising are areas that are outside of my control or honestly, understanding. However, lots of alums have expressed support for RMS.

Because the work we do as a Consortium is also a matter of faculty volunteerism, we can do this work regardless of the College’s fundraising efforts. Having structural permanency would obviously have greater impact across the board on campus, and facilitate this work better. I can say in the areas where faculty have control, that is around RMS curricular re-thinking and programming for example, there is immense excitement about the Consortium across the campus. We are currently well positioned to make transformative contributions to the College in intersectional and decolonial studies of race, migration, and sexuality and their critical surround. Also, in areas of under- or zero representation, such as Asian American Studies and queer studies, RMS will try to fill in the gap and provide small offerings in and through RMS.

How does the Consortium compare with what other peer institutions are doing?

No other peer institution has a center that incorporates queerness and sexuality as part of their thinking on race. And speaking of race, we are the only Ivy League campus without a center on race and ethnicity, let alone gender and sexuality! We are on fallow ground indeed.

If you would like to express your support for the RMS Consortium and for Dartmouth to provide institutional backing and long-term funding to RMS, please write to the Alumni Liaison Committee at alc@dartmouth.edu. Those emails are shared with the Board of Trustees.

Beth Robinson ’86 to Join DGALA in Zoom Chat (1/21/21)

Beth Robinson
Vermont Supreme Court Justice Beth Robinson ’86

Vermont Supreme Court Justice (Freedom to Marry superhero-lawyer-icon!) Beth Robinson ’86 Zoom-side chat! How many of us know the story of the legal case Baker v. State of Vermont? One of our own, Beth Robinson ’86, was one of the lead attorneys who filed a lawsuit in Vermont on behalf of three couples seeking the freedom to marry – AND WON! Supreme Court Justice Robinson (aka Beth) offered to join us for a Q&A about the documentary “The State of Marriage,” which was made about this case! We hope you will join us for this extraordinary event!!

“Mary Bonauto partnered with small-town Vermont lawyers Beth Robinson and Susan Murray in a 2-decade struggle that built the foundation for the entire marriage equality movement. Despite fierce opposition, Vermont became the first state to grant same sex couples legal recognition through a groundbreaking 1999 State Supreme Court decision, and the first to legalize marriage equality by legislative vote in 2009.” (Amazon)

Hollywood Reporter said, “The State of Marriage” is an indispensable addition to the history of the marriage equality movement and a suspenseful nail-biter right up to the feel good ending. From groundbreaking LGBT legal recognition for same sex couples in 2000, to becoming the first state to enact same sex marriage through a dramatic legislative vote in 2009, the film shows in a very personal way how, as HRC national field director Marty Rouse says, Beth, Susan and Mary really changed the course of American history.

HRC’s Marty Rouse said, “They really changed the course of American history.” Featuring Freedom to Marry founder Evan Wolfson, civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis, and Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally.

You can watch the documentary in advance and join us at 8pm for the Q&A, or you can join us as we watch it together at 6:15pm on January 21st via Zoom before the Q&A. More details coming via email and our social media.

Generations Project Writing Workshop & Sharing Session

To mark our 35th anniversary, and in honor of SpeakOut, we are honored to be hosting an event in collaboration with The Generations Project – an organization that facilitates intergenerational queer writing workshops, and bringing LGBTQ+ experiences to life through storytelling (check them out on Instagram)!

At this event, our partners from The Generations Project will facilitate a virtual and intersectional learning program, bringing together LGBTQ+ Dartmouth alums for a creative sharing and discussion group. The Generations Project facilitators will guide us through multiple short prompts, with an emphasis on free self-expression and imagination.

The exercises are designed to be non-intimidating and easy for writers and beginners alike, and to spark various avenues of discussion. It’s sure to be the most interactive virtual event you attend all year!

  • Writing Workshop: Thursday, September 24; 5-7 p.m. ET (Join Facebook Event)
  • Sharing Session: Thursday, October 1; 5-6 p.m. ET

Both events will be followed by Happy Hours (Facebook Event), co-hosted by Chuck Edwards ’86 A&S and Leandra Barrett ’15 – both of whom participated in the SpeakOut project!

Becoming a State Supreme Court Justice: A Conversation with the Hon. Beth Robinson ’86 of Vermont and the Hon. Anne Patterson ’80 of New Jersey

Dartmouth Lawyers Association, Women of Dartmouth, and DGALA, the Dartmouth LGBTQIA+ Alum Association invite you to a special Zoom presentation:

Becoming a State Supreme Court Justice: A Conversation with the Hon. Beth Robinson ’86 of Vermont and the Hon. Anne Patterson ’80 of New Jersey
September 17, 2020, 6:00 – 7:30 PM EDT

Click Here to Register

Please join the Honorable Beth Robinson ’86 of the Vermont Supreme Court, and the Honorable Anne Patterson ’80 of the New Jersey Supreme Court, as they discuss their respective paths to becoming a judge on the highest court in the state-court system, and the important role of the states in protecting individual rights and liberties. In particular, Justice Robinson will discuss Vermont’s efforts to protect the rights of same-sex couples, and Justice Patterson will discuss New Jersey’s recent criminal justice reforms.

Justice Robinson received a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1989. She clerked for the Honorable David B. Sentelle of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, entered private practice, and then served as counsel to Governor Peter Shumlin. Governor Shumlin appointed her to the Vermont Supreme Court as an Associate Justice on November 28, 2011.

Justice Patterson received her J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1983. She practiced in the firm of Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti and also served as a deputy attorney general and special assistant to New Jersey Attorney General Peter N. Perretti, Jr. Governor Chris Christie nominated her to serve as an Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court and was sworn in on September 1, 2011.

The moderator, Amanda Prentice ’06, is currently an Assistant Regional Counsel for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2, in the Air Branch.

This program is free.

A link to the Zoom meeting will be emailed shortly before the program to all registered attendees.

Upon request, a certificate of attendance for 1.5 hours will be provided tor those who wish to seek CLE credit from their respective state regulators.

Virtual Mini-Reunion Events

The ongoing pandemic has forced DGALA’s annual on-campus June mini-reunion to be moved online. Happily, two of the mini’s most popular events will still take place (albeit virtually). Registration is required for each event.

First, on Thursday, June 18th, we will be hosting President Phil Hanlon ’77 for a conversation starting at 5 p.m ET, followed by a social hour for DGALA members.

Register for the June 18 meeting with President Hanlon

On Saturday, June 20th, join us for a virtual exhibition discussion with the Hood Museum of Art! Morgan E. Freeman, Native American Art Fellow, and Jami Powell, Associate Curator of Native American Art, will guide DGALA through exhibitions that were installed in the galleries prior to closing and that will be on view when the museum eventually reopens. They will highlight a number of works in the collection by queer Indigenous artists and describe the museum’s ongoing work with Dartmouth faculty and students and the surrounding Upper Valley community.

Register for the June 20 Hood Museum virtual exhibition discussion

Featured exhibitions: Shifting the Lens and Form and Relation: Contemporary Native Ceramics