COVID-19: Essential Information


Dear GSFS/Chellis Community,

I hope you are all well and safe. 

The GSFS/Chellis team wanted to let you know that we have created the following statement in support of Black Lives Matter. We realize a statement of support is hardly even a sufficient first step, but we at least have a vision for how we might begin to make our community and the larger Middlebury community better.

 Please see the statement below and as always, please reach out to me with any needs, concerns, or questions you might have about this statement or the work of GSFS and Chellis.


Laurie Essig, Professor

Director of Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies  

Middlebury College

It is nearly Juneteenth, 2020 and still Black people are being killed daily by police, which is to say, by the state. It is nearly Juneteenth, 2020 and a global pandemic still disproportionately affects the Black community. It is nearly Juneteenth, 2020 and the educational system is still highly segregated and discriminatory. 

The systematic killing of Black people around the country, including gender nonconforming and transgender individuals, powerfully reveals the structural and long–term racism that emerges from systems of racialized capitalism, heteropatriarchy, the militarization of everyday life, settler colonialism, and the carceral state. These systems shape our everyday life at Middlebury College too where racism is reflected in the experiences of Black faculty, staff and students who can be made to feel “out of place” through the whiteness of the spaces they inhabit and the persistent whiteness of the curriculum. This academic year alone saw several Black faculty members and staff, all women, decide to leave the College. Given these losses on multiple levels, we pledge to do more and to call on Middlebury College to devote material resources to supporting Black intellectual traditions, Black lives, and Black community.

 More specifically:

  1. Our curriculum already centers critical race studies, but we pledge to further amplify scholarship on abolition, racial capitalism, and carceral state logics. We also pledge to further center the work of  Black feminist scholars, writers and artists.
  2. We commit to bringing important conversations emergent from #BlackLivesMatter protests to our campus through the work of organizers and youth leaders 
  3. We have lost a faculty member who teaches Black and Feminist Studies and we will apply for a replacement who does the same. 
  4. We will work with the Black Student Union, the AAUP Anti-Racism working group and any other campus group that is doing anti-racist work to transform and re-imagine both Middlebury College, GSFS, and Chellis House.
  5. We will pressure the College for real and committed resources to Black Studies, something we see as integral to the work of both our Feminist Resource Center and the program in Gender, Sexuality, & Feminist Studies.

This current moment is a call to reimagine the world we want to inhabit and we are committed to anti-capitalist, feminist, intersectional, ​and internationalist work that attends to the present with historical responsibility.


Each semester, there is an array of events both hosted and sponsored by the program in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies and/or the Feminists' Resource Center at Chellis House.

Most recently, in November, 2019, the Feminist Resource Center at Chellis House hosted the Malikah Gender Justice Organizing Institute. Please read more about this exciting event at
See below for a list of other events sponsored by the Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies Program and/or the Feminists' Resource Center at Chellis House.

Program in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies

Chellis House Women's Resource Center
56 Hillcrest Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753