A look inside Middlebury’s activist culture

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A look inside Middlebury’s activist culture


The author summarizes the plethora of forms of student activism that have taken place in the 2020-21 academic year.


Tony Sjodin


The Campus




Tony Sjodin


"Activists at Middlebury have spent the last year creating mutual aid networks, educating peers about anti-racism, and fighting for a myriad of reforms both on-campus and from their homes across the country. While the pandemic limited in-person events, organizers saw their work become more urgent than ever as the effects of Covid-19 disproportionately impacted marginalized communities and exacerbated existing social inequities"

"In recent years, activism on campus has not been a rare sight. The invitation of Charles Murray, whose work the Southern Poverty Law Center says features racist pseudoscience and white nationalist ideology, sparked campus-wide protests in 2017. In spring 2019, students also prepared to protest the invitation of Ryszard Legutko, a Polish politician known for making homophobic remarks, before the college canceled the event out of a concern for 'safety risks.' In October 2020, organizers used digital protest tactics during a Zoom debate titled 'Was America Founded on Slavery?', with some turning their profile pictures into a photo of the debate poster with the answer 'YES.' across it."

"Middlebury really wants to have this image of supporting student activists and being really progressive and innovative, and honestly a lot of what that looks like is taking credit for a lot of student activists’ work while actually making student activism really hard to do” - Leif Taranta ’20.5"

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Tony Sjodin, “A look inside Middlebury’s activist culture,” Archives of Anti-Racist Activism, accessed May 24, 2024, https://twilightprojectantiracistrecords.middcreate.net/items/show/728.

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