President Laurie Patton and Chief Diversity Officer Miguel Fernández sent the following message to the Middlebury community on Monday, June 28, 2021.
Dear Middlebury Community,
We write today, at the close of Pride Month, with an exciting announcement. As you may remember from previous communications, we commissioned a presidential task force in 2020 to study the possibilities for the establishment of a new LGBTQIA+ resource center. We asked the task force to conduct their work in the context of issues of concern to the Middlebury LGBTQIA+ community, and with a view toward other centers and programming at comparable institutions.
After a year of work, ably led by Director of Education for Equity and Inclusion Renee Wells, the committee has recommended that Middlebury establish The Prism Center for Queer and Trans Life at Middlebury College. The Prism Center will provide outreach, education, consultation, resources, support, programming, and advocacy services for students, staff, and faculty of all genders and sexual and romantic orientations. It will focus particularly on student empowerment and center on the experiences of queer and trans people of color. We are further excited to share that the Center will be housed at 23 Adirondack View, near the Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, with plans to move in at the end of the fall semester.
There are many details to work out, but we wanted to share this initial news with the community as we celebrate the contributions of our queer and trans communities during Pride Month. We also wish to express my profound thanks to the student, faculty, and staff committee members who worked on this project: Renee Wells; Karin Hanta, director of the Feminist Resource Center at Chellis House; Janae Due, assistant director of the Anderson Freeman Center; Dima Ayoub, assistant professor of Arabic and C.V. Starr Junior Fellow in International Studies; KJ Krasco, head coach of women’s basketball; Eric Moody, assistant professor of biology; student Christian Kummer ’22, co-chair of Community Council; Katie Ritter ’15, former assistant women’s lacrosse coach; student Khaim Vassar-Fontenot ’23, and Jason Vrooman ’03, chief curator and director of engagement at the Middlebury College Museum of Art.
Please stay tuned for further details about staffing and programming over the coming months!
Chief Diversity Officer