As a Grinnell Student I’ve taken some considerable pride in the fact that Grinnell College has had a visible history of social and political activism. I have taken pride in hearing bands of students come together to raise the intellectual awareness of their peers. So, in following the legacy of Grinnellians in the past, I write this to do the same: raise our intellectual and social awareness. We as Grinnellians should be known as empathic scholars with a vision for how the world should be for all of us who inhabit it. But, are we really reaching our potential? The election of Donald Trump has brought about division and toxicity. Even if we ourselves try to ignore it, the cultural climate post election has been that of ignorance and intolerance from more than just our sworn enemies. This type of ignorance and intolerance extends beyond political lines and is the very thing that can give rise to apathy and reluctance. We must resist this and act. If we stand together as students of Grinnell College, no matter our background, we show that this division and apathy is not acceptable. On March 1st we intend to do just this.
Our day begins at 11am. We invite everyone to take the opportunity to make signs and posters to prepare for our combined rally, community march and direct action following shortly thereafter. Colleges from across the country will also be participating with us on this day and at 1:30pm our coordinated national action will commence. At 2:30pm, we will break out into guided teach-ins lead by Intercultural affairs in the JRC, Professor Dobe and his MLK and Gandhi class in Saints Rest, Professor Ramey and Professor Haenfler in Faulconer Gallery, and possibly Professor Scott and Professor Andleson in the Spencer Grill. We hope that students and community members alike rotate through each location in order to fully experience the breadth of each teach-in. If you are skeptical towards being involved in any way, remember that change only occurs when there is considerable work over time, we should consider March 1st one part of the work required to insight this change.
We are building a network: a coalition of students across the country who intend to stay connected and informed under the Trump administration. We must come together for love, peace, and progress. We ask students to skip all of their classes in order to make a point to ourselves that we can do our part to be the change we wish to see. These activities are meant to facilitate learning outside of the classroom. Faculty and staff support our cause and are looking to us as students to make our stand. This is your opportunity to resist apathy and join something concrete. Look for the March 1st pamphlets, pins, and patches you see around campus and make your decision to become a part of this movement. This is an ongoing battle that we must fight vigilantly. We as students have the ability to do so much. Take pride in being a Grinnellian by taking part in this day of action.