Nine female faculty members issued a list of demands to their college, Whitman College. The college is a small college in Walla Walla, Washington and began operation in 1882.
The faculty demanded the following:
- Over the years, we have participated in multiple surveys, climate studies, and requests for data. Enough. No more extractive meetings and conversations that deplete our energy, perform other people’s labor, and reinforce our minority status.
- Hear us when we speak. In faculty meetings. In Department Chairs’ meetings. When we show up to your office.
- Support our intellectual projects, especially ones that emerge out of our collaborations.
- Provide us with funds to connect with family, friends, colleagues, communities that are far away from the racially isolating environment of Walla Walla.
- Compensate us for the additional labor we do mentoring and supporting students of color who vastly outnumber us and often seek us out when they need help. We are counselling students on racism and sexism while experiencing it ourselves.
- Compensate us for the additional labor we do on campus mentoring and supporting each other.
- Compensate us for the additional labor we do recruiting new faculty of color.
- Pay us fairly and equitably, with respect to our white colleagues, and each other.
- Reconsider departmental autonomy in ways that support us when our colleagues harass and disrespect us, devalue our expertise, and treat us as disposable.
- Recognize the ways that evaluative instruments are racialized and gendered and retool them accordingly.
- Hire our spouses and make college resources available to them at the same rate that white faculty spouses are hired and given access to those same resources.
- Assist us with down payments on housing so that we might form the same attachments to place as our white colleagues do.
- Hire Visiting Assistant Professors of Color for longer contracts.
- Raising multiracial kids in a predominantly white community without familial and communal networks in town is challenging. Make the College hospitable to our childcare needs. Provide on-site daycare and sick care. Make meetings child-friendly. Subsidize daycare off-campus for research trips. Synchronize the college schedule to the public school schedule.
- Provide support for those taking care of elderly or incapacitated parents in a town whose facilities are not hospitable to residents of color.