The most recent demonstration on our campus, Divest Grinnell, has prompted conversations about the history of student activism and its relationship to social justice at Grinnell. The college claims on its website that

From the beginning, our commitment to social responsibility has been a large part of our College history. Grinnell was a center for abolitionist activity before and during the Civil War. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Grinnell alumni to positions in his ‘New Deal’ administration. Today, our commitment to social justice continues with the strong philosophy of self-governance and personal responsibility, as well as programs and initiatives that encourage students to learn about the world beyond campus and to create positive social change.

Indeed, nowhere in its narrative of social justice does our institution mention the activism of its students.

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