[HC-STRIKE] 11.10 For the Culture
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff of the Haverford “Community,”
After thirteen days of striking against the administration that failed to be actively anti-racist and
anti-Black, we, the strike organizers, have come to the consensus to end the strike. We want to
be clear as to why we are choosing to call a moratorium on the strike: we have made this
decision because of the incredible things everyone who chose to strike has achieved thus far; we
want to take the time to process and account for how much has happened. To start, we want to
reflect on some of the very real wins that we’ve been able to achieve:
● $75,000 towards renovations for the Black Cultural Center.
● Cancellation of classes and jobs on Election Day and holiday pay for essential
● Guaranteed all students full funding to visit a therapist of their choosing off campus.
● Secured a Pass/Fail model for the Fall 2020 semester.
● Committed the college to articulating admission preferences for Indigenous students.
● Committed the CSSP to a full overhaul of the academic warning system.
● $200,000 over the next three years committed to improving accessibility to buildings and
facilities on campus.
● An annual operating budget of $25,000 for the work completed under the Chief Diversity
● $75,000 for bias training at the college over the next two years.
● Reevaluation of tenure and promotion criteria.
● Compensation up to 20 hours of missed work while participating in strike.
● Encouraged interdepartmental discussion and reforms to center anti-racist work in every
● Reserve CAPS hours for LGBTQ+ students and the commitment to hire another
counselor specialized in working with LGBTQ+ people.
● An ongoing series of teach-ins that have dramatically expanded the scope and nature of
intellectual inquiry at the college.
There are two major things we want to say tonight. The first is an overwhelming thank you-- to
everyone who organized, built, and created with us, who chose to disrupt the racist and violent
systems that Haverford perpetuates and remains complicit in. As we’ve repeated a number of
times, the pressure that the college felt was only achievable through our collective strength. The
second is that this is, in every sense, barely the beginning of the work. Haverford was created to
serve a specific population and perpetuate structural inequality, which we have done our best to
start to address. Since 1972, BIPOC students have been demanding and taking action towards
institutional change. This fight and desire for basic human rights and respect was here before us
and will be here after us. The call to action, in many of our lifetimes, has never been as powerful
as it is now and what we choose to contribute and sacrifice for this ongoing movement, and the
many coinciding movements like it, will be what defines our stories. Be on the right side of
We have to remember that this strike began with our recognition that we have a commitment to
people and movements outside the confines of this college, specifically Black & Brown
communities, who are subject to the violence of systemic and institutionalized racism that we’ve
witnessed on and off campus. Therefore, recalling one of the sentiments we shared in the
beginning of the strike, we hope that when the moment for social justice calls, you are able to put
your personal needs aside for the collective good-- both on and especially off campus.
The strike has revealed the true colors of many members of the Haverford “community,” and if
you read the footnotes on the BSRFI letter in June, you would realize that the term community is
fraught in and of itself. The rhetoric surrounding the strike and strike organizers has rehashed
many of those same frustrations. By some who have not felt the very real divisions that already
existed at Haverford, we have been called divisive. By some who have done nothing to bring
about structural change at the college, we have been told that what we are asking for is not
possible. You cannot “love and light” your way out of anti-Black racism , white supremacy, and
the histories of hegemony that exist very much as the foundational backbone of Haverford and
that have now brought us to this breaking point. We want to reiterate that it is not just Wendy’s
original email or even administrative violence that we are responding to - we are actively
resisting a centuries long colonial project predicated on the destruction and devalorization of
Black life that ultimately murdered Walter Wallace Jr. All the work we have done for this strike
is more than just an attempt to make this institution safer for BIPOC students, we also hope to
honor the lives taken from the system of white supremacist racial capitalism that Haverford itself
continues to benefit from.
This strike has been successful because, in reality, this institution relies on BIPOC intellectual
and physical labor. In our refusal to continue, the institution has been forced to halt with us.
Through our demands and action plans, we have actively and tirelessly worked on creating a new
vision of equity that this institution failed to imagine (much less enact) for itself.
We hope in moving forward the “community” understands that over the duration of this strike
we have not only done the work that President Raymond and her peers in administration have all
refused to do, but have also been undoing the work of generations of white people in power who
have found it morally and ethically acceptable to ignore the demands and needs of the most
marginalized people, not only at Haverford, but in the global community at large. If there’s
anything you can learn from this moment it is that we have all been complicit in upholding the
structures of white supremacy, and if you truly want to commit to fostering an anti-racist
institution, you have a lot of internal work to do before you can ever transformatively help
This is a reminder not just to Wendy, but every single so-called leader of this institution, that
BIPOC students will always be ready to mobilize and fight for change when you fail us. Does a
tsunami only have one wave?
Tomorrow is the 14th and final day of this strike.
Please join us on Founders at 12:00 PM for a celebration of our victories and to ground,
reconnect, and reenergize through collective joy! This work does not end with the strike, and in
many ways, this work will never stop. Like we’ve said before, and we’ll likely say again, this is
bigger than you. This is bigger than us. In the past two weeks, students from other schools in the
area have begun organizing their own efforts to bring radical change to their institutions.
Specifically, Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore stood in solidarity with us when we decided to disrupt
Haverford-- now it’s our turn. We hope to build our network of collective organizing and
disruption, and are excited to continue doing the work beyond our campus.
Do not let the sacrifices and efforts of the past 14 days be in vain. We urge you to stay
disruptive, to stay vigilant, and to stray from complacency.
To keep up with organizing efforts surrounding the strike, please refer to this live HC Strike
Updates document, follow our Instagram and our Twitter, check out our website or link tree,
email us questions or tips at email@example.com, and stay tuned. Remember to take
care of yourselves, continue educating and mobilizing your networks, and stay disruptive.
In anger and in power,
Women of Color House, Black Students Refusing Further Inaction, Black Student League, and
every single BIPOC student this institution has failed
11.10 For the Culture
Statement composed by Women of Color (WOC) House, Black Students Refusing Further Inaction (BSRFI), the Black Students League, and other student strike organizers announcing that the strike organizers had come to a consensus to end the strike. The statement outlines the goals that the strike has achieved and then goes on to emphasize the importance of the strikers' collective strength in gaining these concessions from the College. The organizers state "We hope in moving forward the 'community' understands that over the duration of this strike we have not only done the work that President Raymond and her peers in administration have all refused to do, but have also been undoing the work of generations of white people in power who have found it morally and ethically acceptable to ignore the demands and needs of the most marginalized people, not only at Haverford, but in the global community at large. If there’s anything you can learn from this moment it is that we have all been complicit in upholding the structures of white supremacy, and if you truly want to commit to fostering an anti-racist institution, you have a lot of internal work to do before you can ever transformatively help anyone else." The statement reminds students that the work of anti-racism must continue and that "BIPOC students will always be ready to mobilize and fight for change." It concludes by noting there will be a celebration at Founders Hall at 12pm on November 11, 2020. A link to this document was included in the daily strike update for November 10, 2020.
Women of Color (WOC) House (author)
Black Students Refusing Further Inaction (BSRFI) (author)
Haverford College Black Students League (author)
[Public] 11_10_20 For the Culture Statement