August ’20 Newsletter

Dear fellow alums,

A warm welcome to our recent alums who have recently moved to the Northern California area. We’re so glad you’re here and look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event! 

As we turn the calendar into our new fiscal year, which started July 1, we encourage you to contribute to the Club by paying your annual, tax-deductible dues, via our Eventbrite: MHC Club of Northern CA Membership Dues. Ordinarily, Club dues and donations help the Club provide refreshments at a variety of events, cover costs in excess of what we charge for paid events, offset the costs of care packages for Bay Area first-year students, as well as allow the Club to offer discounted prices for those who otherwise would not be able to attend due to lack of funds. 

Obviously, this year is off to a very different start since we are currently not able to hold in-person events — but your dues payment still helps us keep our all-volunteer led Club afloat and will allow us to continue to host an incredible and diverse slate of events this year as well as invest money in local organizations and contribute to student groups on campus. If you would prefer to pay by check, please email us. Thank you for your continued support and generosity!

Get Out The Vote this fall with the NorCal Club! MomsRising is making it easy (and completely free!) for all of us to GOTV for the 2020 election. Sign up now to write 10 or more postcards to registered voters who haven’t always voted on Election Day in the past. In the next month, MomsRising will send you a packet of pre-addressed, pre-stamped postcards along with some instructions. All you’ll need to do is write a short note of encouragement and send the cards directly to voters ahead of the November 3rd election. 

Once we’ve all received our packets of postcards and started writing them on our own, we’ll meet Saturday, September 12 via Zoom (see event details below) for postcard writing and political discussion. We hope you’ll join us! And remember, if you can’t make it to the event, you can still send out the postcards. 

We’re still welcoming any recommendations of alums who have founded, work for, or volunteer at local Bay Area organizations doing anti-racist work or fundraising and will include them in upcoming newsletters and social media features. Please send any recommendations to the Board at mountholyoke@gmail.com.   

To hear the latest about our programming in-between our monthly newsletters, we encourage you to follow the Club on Facebook and Instagram. We also encourage you to share resources, your virtual events, and more, directly in the Facebook Group.

Our very best wishes,
The Board

In Memoriam Nancy Kenyon ’56

We are sorry to share that former Board member and longtime Club supporter Nancy Kenyon ‘56, has passed away. Many of you might remember the lively book club meetings and other events Nancy hosted at her home in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. Here is a tribute to her, written by a friend and colleague from Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California. If anyone has photos or stories to share about Nancy, please send them to her children at mail@sandybar.com or mail to 1375 Masonic Ave, San Francisco, CA 94117 or give them a call at 415-592-4581. If you’d like to make a donation in her name, please give to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

July 2020 Newsletter

Dear fellow alums,

Greetings from the beginning of our 2020-2021 year! We’re thrilled to welcome two new Board members: Vickie Victor ‘18 will take over as Recent Alum Chair, and Emily Wen ‘16 will join our Membership team as Co-Chair. Take a look at the full roster/profiles of our 2020-2021 Board of Directors here. If you want to become a member of our Board, it’s not too late! Check out the Board Positions to see what’s open, and if you’d like to join, complete this Statement of Interest

Moving foward, we thank you for sharing your ideas with us through the MHC NorCal Call to Anti-racist Action survey. The survey is still open for responses, and we welcome your thoughts, if you are interested. We deeply appreciate your input and over the next few weeks we will continue to reflect, discuss, and plan the Club’s next steps. More to come soon.

One suggestion was to spotlight alums who have founded, work for, or volunteer at local Bay Area organizations doing anti-racist work or fundraising. We welcome any ideas and will include them in upcoming newsletters and social media features. Please send any recommendations to the Board at mountholyoke@gmail.com

Thank you, also, to those of you who joined us at our virtual BIPOC Happy Hour last month. It was wonderful to cultivate space and be in community with fellow alums of color. We’re already looking forward to the next one!  

As we continue virtual planning for the summer and beyond, we’d love to hear from you about what types of virtual events, programs, and resources may best support you at this time or any which you may wish to offer. 

  • What events or programming would you like to see? Are you interested in hosting a virtual event? Let us know by filling out this form.
  • We’d love to showcase members of our alum community on social media. If you’re interested in sharing your story with our local community, let us know here.

To hear the latest about our programming in-between our monthly newsletters, we encourage you to follow the Club on Facebook and Instagram. We also encourage you to share resources, your virtual events, and more, directly in the Facebook Group.

Our very best wishes,
The Board

June ’20 Newsletter

Graphic from National Public Radio: “This is a non-comprehensive list of deaths at the hands of police in the U.S. since Eric Garner’s death in July, 2014.” Since its posting, Tony McDade, a Black transgender man, was shot and killed by Tallahassee police on May 27, 2020. There may have been others. 


Dear fellow alums,

“What am I doing every single day to force myself to think about racism and white supremacy? What am I doing every single day to stop the killing of Black people?”

To our Black alums: We are sorry. We are failing you. We resolve to do better. To our white and non-Black POC alums: We need to do better. The questions above are posed to white people, in particular, by Tamika Butler on her blog. With regard to those questions, we need to address them individually, as well as leverage the power and privilege contained within this club. 

Inaction is not an option, as in the face of virulent white supremacy and police brutality, it implicitly supports the racist and discriminatory status quo. The issue extends beyond police violence – housing (including homelessness) is a racial justice issue, healthcare is a racial justice issue, voting is a racial justice issue, education is a racial justice issue, mass incarceration is a racial justice issue, income inequality is a racial justice issue, LGBTQ+ rights are a racial justice issue, and the list goes on. We must, as individuals and as a collective, take an actively anti-racist stance and work toward a more equitable world that values people over property and asserts that Black Lives Matter

We invite all of our community members to share your ideas with us here, so that we might build that better future together – with the acknowledgement that in order to be real allies, we need to defer to those closest to the pain (in this instance, Black, Indigenous and People of Color – BIPOC), listen to them, and support their visions.

A note about the survey: While responses will be anonymous, we do ask for demographic information that we have not previously collected – on race/ethnicity, gender, disability, and sexual orientation. We ask these questions not to pry, but to develop a clearer picture of our membership (to reject “color-blindedness”) and to place the feedback we receive in context. This will enable us to “center the margins,” as urged by Black feminist theorist bell hooks. We recognize this is sensitive information and so it will not be shared with anyone outside the board of the club. 

If you are white and need more information and resources, the Club recommends engaging with materials put out by Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). Racial Equity Tools has information that can be helpful to all of us. Educating ourselves is necessary and ongoing work. We have no time to waste. 

If you read the above and feel confused in any way, have any general questions, want more information, materials, or resources, please feel free to reach out to us at mountholyoke@gmail.com. We are happy to connect with you.

In solidarity,
The Board