Amherst College Center for Diversity & Student Leadership

Amherst College Center for Diversity & Student Leadership CDSL's work is two-fold: 1) to provide support to first generation, transfer, veteran, and undocumented/DACA students to foster personal and academic success, and 2) to create and cultivate leadership development and engagement opportunities for students.

On Monday, November 11th from 8:30-10:00 am the CDSL will be hosting a breakfast to celebrate Veterans Day in Mullins-Fa...
11/08/2019

On Monday, November 11th from 8:30-10:00 am the CDSL will be hosting a breakfast to celebrate Veterans Day in Mullins-Faerber room in Valentine Hall. We invite all to join in commemorating this day and honoring the veterans in our student, staff, and faculty community.

I STAND WITH IMMIGRANTS 2019
10/22/2019

I STAND WITH IMMIGRANTS 2019

Our annual I Stand With Immigrants Celebration. Thank you to everyone who participated in our photo campaign! Immigration adds so much value to our community at Amherst and beyond. Everyone deserves human rights and respect! #IStandWithImmigrants #HomeIsHere

Amherst College Center for Diversity & Student Leadership
09/03/2019

Amherst College Center for Diversity & Student Leadership

Amherst College Center for Diversity & Student Leadership
09/03/2019

Amherst College Center for Diversity & Student Leadership

Office of Diversity & Inclusion-Amherst College
03/27/2019

Office of Diversity & Inclusion-Amherst College

“This is the first year the Rhodes Scholarship accepted applications from those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arr...
11/22/2018
Meet The First Undocumented Immigrant Rhodes Scholar In History

“This is the first year the Rhodes Scholarship accepted applications from those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Park, a DACA recipient from the Flushing neighborhood of New York City, told HuffPost that it took some time for the achievement to sink in.”

Congratulations to Park for this incredible achievement!

Jin Park, the son of a line cook and nail salon worker, moved to the U.S. from South Korea when he was 7 years old.

Meet Telmo Gonzalez (he/him/his), a prospective Political Science major in the class of 2022! We are so lucky to have hi...
11/06/2018

Meet Telmo Gonzalez (he/him/his), a prospective Political Science major in the class of 2022! We are so lucky to have him in our community! Here is his spotlight:

1) Where are you from?
I'm originally from a poor suburban neighborhood in the outskirts of Guayaquil, Ecuador. I landed in NYC in 2007 and have lived there ever since.

2) What makes your identities important to you?
My identities have propelled me to keep going forward and have empowered me in every step of my life. They remind me that even though I'm a low-income, first-generation, LatinX immigrant I have been able to accomplish the same things as my privileged peers.

3) What could the world use more of?
The world could use more of progressive, and compassionate leadership. Leaders who care about their own nation, but who also care about the overall well-being of humanity and the world.

4) What’s your favorite Val meal?
I like Val when they serve fries.

5) What are you most proud of?
I'm proud of being a student at Amherst College. My family, with their continuous hard work and support, has not only granted me the privilege to pursue a four-year college degree but also a chance to pursue my ideal future.

"Because I believe in the importance of representation of minorities in the classroom, and because one’s sexual orientat...
11/01/2018
Coming Out as Working Class

"Because I believe in the importance of representation of minorities in the classroom, and because one’s sexual orientation typically isn’t apparent... I often wonder if I should come out to my students at the beginning of each semester.
...Recently, though, I realized the same need for representation in the classroom of first-generation college students...A year ago, in conjunction with the university’s Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, I met with a contingent of Vanderbilt’s faculty members, administrators, and the president of the student body — all of us first-generation college graduates — to discuss how the university might better serve its own first-generation students, who across the country have higher rates of stress and depression, and lower rates of retention, than their peers.
...nearly everyone present reported that their working-class status had had a greater impact on their experience as undergraduates — for some of them, on their entire lives — than did any other aspect of their identity, including race, gender, and sexual orientation."

An academic who grew up low-income in Arkansas says his sexuality is the least queer thing about him.

National Day of Action
10/30/2018

National Day of Action

National Day of Action

Hi everyone! Meet Steven (he/him) a transfer and veteran student in the class of 2021. His dedication to his studies and...
10/30/2018

Hi everyone! Meet Steven (he/him) a transfer and veteran student in the class of 2021. His dedication to his studies and optimism stretches far beyond his colossal height. Don't be shy to say hi if you see him around!

Where are you from?
Gaithersburg, MD

What makes your identities important to you?
My identities act as sources of motivation to push through obstacles in life. Being a first-gen, transfer, and Marine veteran has taught me how to persevere, handle stressful situations, and overcome setbacks. My identities have shaped me into the man I am today and will guide me through life’s uncertainty.


What could the world use more of?
Less talking, more action.

What’s your favorite Val meal?
General Tso’s chicken, but I will destroy some French toast sticks.

What are you most proud of?
Coming to Amherst College is one of my biggest accomplishments. Many people don’t think veterans have what it takes to be at an institution like Amherst and succeed. I was inspired to come here by other veterans who paved the way for future vets in higher education and I hope I can use my position here to continue this trend.

What are you most thankful for?
Although I didn’t know at the time how things would play out, I’m extremely thankful for the second chance the Marines gave me. Having the opportunity to travel to new places and experience different cultures gave me a renewed outlook on the world. I don’t believe I would be the person I am today without having joined the Marines. That one decision enabled me to successfully return to school and ultimately gain admission to Amherst College.

Dear Community,As many of you are already aware due to the communications which came from President Biddy Martin yesterd...
10/24/2018

Dear Community,

As many of you are already aware due to the communications which came from President Biddy Martin yesterday, the Trump Administration has proposed narrowing the definition of sex/gender in efforts to exclude trans people from key civil rights protections (more information can be found here). While this has not yet been adopted, the intention, impact, and implications are tremendous for trans and nonbinary people in the U.S. and around the world.

We want to make sure to remind you that the Office of Student Affairs and Resource Centers Team are here to support you. We value, celebrate, and uplift the diverse and resilient trans and nonbinary people that are part of our community and beyond.

Tonight at 5:30pm in the QRC, folks from around campus are gathering to talk through both the personal and political impacts of this development. If you have any accessibility needs, please contact [email protected] or 413-542-5964.

Please do not hesitate to reach out for support, or connection.

In community,

The Resource Center Team
Paola Gallego
[email protected]

Angie Tissi-Gassoway
[email protected]

Center for International Student Engagement
Hanna Bliss
[email protected]

Gabe Hall
[email protected]

Multicultural Resource Center
Ramona East
[email protected]

Office of Campus Diversity & Student Leadership
Tenzin Kunor
[email protected]

Queer Resource Center
Jxhn Martin
[email protected]

Women’s and Gender Center
Nayah Mullings
[email protected]

10/03/2018

Dear Community,

The members of the Resource Center Team would like to extend our sympathies to all of you for the loss of our community member, Justin Imperatore '20. Tonight at 8:00pm, the Friedmann Room in Keefe Campus Center will be open for those who wish to gather in community for support.

As Biddy reminded us in her email this afternoon, different people will have different emotional responses to such tragedies. Honor your own reactions -- all are valid. If being with the Resource Center community feels right to you, please join us in our spaces. If you would like to speak to one of the Resource Center Team staff, feel free to drop-in or email. We encourage you to access additional methods of support, like your friends, our Counseling Center, and Residential Life.

We are here for you if you need us and we are holding you in our hearts.

With love,
The Resource Center Team

Paola Gallego
[email protected]

Angie Tissi-Gassoway
[email protected]

Center for International Student Engagement
Hanna Bliss
[email protected]

Gabe Hall
[email protected]

Multicultural Resource Center
Ramona East
[email protected]

Office of Campus Diversity & Student Leadership
Tenzin Kunor
[email protected]

Queer Resource Center
Jxhn Martin
[email protected]

Women’s and Gender Center
Nayah Mullings
[email protected]

Photos from Amherst College Center for Diversity & Student Leadership's post
09/02/2018

Photos from Amherst College Center for Diversity & Student Leadership's post

Photos from Amherst College Center for Diversity & Student Leadership's post
09/02/2018

Photos from Amherst College Center for Diversity & Student Leadership's post

09/02/2018

Lea Morin ‘21 did some amazing work for the CDSL office this summer as the summer intern! Special guest appearances from Camille Polk ‘21, MRC summer intern and Rachel Kang ‘21, CISE summer intern helping to facilitate some workshops and model our new swag! 😄 #latergram

09/02/2018

Back from our summer social media hiatus! Our office has been renovated and it’s looking nice. Coffee table, printer, computer soon coming and we’ll put these prints up soon! Stop by Keefe 204 😊

Looking for somewhere quiet (with AC!!) during this humid finals period? Come to Keefe 204, Fri 5/4-Thurs 5/10 from 9-mi...
05/04/2018

Looking for somewhere quiet (with AC!!) during this humid finals period? Come to Keefe 204, Fri 5/4-Thurs 5/10 from 9-midnight!

Hey everyone, meet Lea Morin (she, her, hers), a rising sophomore who demonstrates an enormous amount of leadership in o...
05/01/2018

Hey everyone, meet Lea Morin (she, her, hers), a rising sophomore who demonstrates an enormous amount of leadership in our community! She is the Queer Resource Center Outreach Coordinator, an Office of Admissions Tour Guide, a Diversity Intern, and an incoming summer intern for our office, among many other things. No big deal.

Here’s a little about her:

1. Where are you from?
I am from the best city in the best state: San Antonio, Texas. The 210 is the best because it always has been, but it got better because it produced me. My family is from Mexico.

2. Which identities are most important to you and why?
My most important identity is my Mexicana identity. Coming from a predominately Latinx community to Amherst College has put my identity into many different perspectives and given me the opportunity to evaluate and value who I am. I have had to defend and represent my people and my culture which has shown me the beauty of my heritage and more reasons to be proud of who I am and who my people are. This, of course, also applies to my being Texan, but to a lesser degree. Regardless, I am proud of being Texan because we have a diversity of cultures, legendary people, and Whataburger.

3. What could the world use more of and why?
The world could use people who are more introspective. My short time at Amherst has already been a wild ride of self-discovery which has involved a lot of personal reevaluation. Looking inwardly has allowed me to love who I am more and forced me to recognize where I need to grow for myself, my community, and my vision. If more people critically evaluated themselves, I think they would find a lot to love and a lot to change to be better for whatever path they are taking.

4. What’s your favorite Val meal?
My favorite Val meal is oranges.

5. What are you most thankful for?
I am most thankful for my people and all of the strength and struggle that they put into me. I have always been loved, tough and otherwise, and that love has uplifted me and continues to support me as I navigate my way through Amherst. I am especially thankful for the women in my life, known and unknown, whose sacrifices have ultimately placed me in such a privileged and powerful position.

Presenting on “Building Capital and Community for the Next Generation of Leaders”. Go Bryan & Mariah! ✨💜
04/21/2018

Presenting on “Building Capital and Community for the Next Generation of Leaders”. Go Bryan & Mariah! ✨💜

Our group (plus some friends from NYU, Tufts, and UChicago) is ready to take on the day at the First Gen Student Summit ...
04/21/2018

Our group (plus some friends from NYU, Tufts, and UChicago) is ready to take on the day at the First Gen Student Summit at Mount Holyoke! Special shout out to Mariah and Bryan who are presenting today! ✨

This is Elisul (J.R.) Arias (he/him/his), a junior majoring in Sociology. He is a valuable member of our community with ...
04/17/2018

This is Elisul (J.R.) Arias (he/him/his), a junior majoring in Sociology. He is a valuable member of our community with his exuberant energy, critical honesty, and commitment to empowering those in his community. If you struggle at Amherst for whatever reason, J.R. wants you to know that you're not alone.

1) Where are you from?
I’m from the Bronx, New York but also from the 413 that is Holyoke, Massachusetts.

2) What makes your identities important to you?
The different identities I hold are important to me because they let others know who I am as a person and what makes me tick per se.

3) What could the world use more of?
The world could be less assuming and judgmental and more understanding.

4) What’s your favorite Val meal?
My favorite meal would be breakfast, in general. Eggs, bacon, potatoes, a waffle with the whip cream on top some fruit and some O.J!

5) What are you most proud of?
Honestly, at this point in my life, it would definitely have to be completing a whole year at Amherst. I wanted to leave the first month I was here. It’s a struggle when you regularly feel pressured to do well at Amherst both in your academics but outside of class as well, like landing internships or applying for study abroad. When you combine academics with the competitive nature of Amherst, that is always having to do more or one up someone, and then you throw life into the mix it can be overwhelming. So for me the fact that I was able to juggle all of that for a whole academic year is something I am very proud of.

6) What are you most thankful for?
I’m most thankful for the people on campus, all be it students, staff, or faculty who I’ve met and interacted with who keep it real. Amherst College can be an intimidating and tough environment to navigate. But early in my time here I have found that it gets easier when you stay truthful to who you are. Everyone on campus will achieve something, but in their own due time. When you stay true to who you are there isn't a need to feel like you have to compete or compare with others.

Meet Janelle Le '20 (she/her/hers) majoring in Philosophy. She radiates with sunshine, beauty, and smiles, spreading kin...
04/02/2018

Meet Janelle Le '20 (she/her/hers) majoring in Philosophy. She radiates with sunshine, beauty, and smiles, spreading kindness everywhere she goes. Here is her student spotlight:

1) Where are you from?
I am from the Bay Area in California. We have good boba, good weather, and even better people. Although I live in the South Bay right now, the East Bay will always have my heart.

2) Which identities are important to you and why?
Being a low-income, first-generation, Asian woman, I have a lot of different identities that are important to me and affect my day-to-day life. It seems like the entire world was against me in my creation, and I always joke about how easy my life would have been if I was born as an entirely different person. However, the more time I spend in college, the more, accepting of who I am and all of the identities I hold. Coming to college, all of my different identities seem to be more apparent as I am surrounded by people that don’t look or think like I do. But, being a part of Asian Students Association, First Generation Association, and QuestBridge really help me embrace who I am and have made me realize how important it is to be aware of what makes you you and to recognize and appreciate the community you have with others who share the same identities.

3) What could the world use more of?
I think the world could use more random acts of kindness. We never know how people are doing on the inside. It feels like acts of kindness can be so small, like opening the door for someone, complimenting someone you usually don’t, or just smiling at a stranger. I once read that many of us would be terrified to go back in time in fear of changing the entire world with one small little action, but we never give that kind of efficacy to our own actions in the present. With just one small little act of kindness, who knows what could happen? I think at the very least, you made someone smile, and the world could use more smiles, too.

4) What's your favorite Val meal?
I can eat anything at Val as long as I’m eating with my friends. I absolutely love the gluten free cookies they have on request, though. Perfect val mealtime is me with my buddies, eating cookies and garlic bread, and doing a Monday crossword.

5) What are you most thankful for?
I am most thankful for my mother. She has gone through so much, and she is my pillar. She was there for me when my self esteem issues got to the best of me, she was there for me when my mental health had hit rock bottom, and she’s still here for me even though I am across the country and don’t text as often as I should. I love her. She will randomly send me care packages, and she’s super cheesy in her texts to me. She inspires me to be just as loving to myself and to those I care about.

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16 Barrett Hill Dr.
Amherst, MA
01002

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Stop by Friedman room tomorrow at 12pm to get a dose of your weekly dialogue! Lunch will be served!!