To the Editor:
We are troubled by the Yale Daily News’ negative assessment of our explicit renunciation of Timothy Dwight’s pro-slavery teachings and actions (“Dwight Hall plaque an unnecessary response,” 11/13). The editorial argues that this move is a lamentable and destructive response to this summer’s revelation of the connections between Dwight Hall’s namesake and slavery. We agree with the News that Dwight Hall’s ongoing work is more important than a symbolic gesture. That is why we did not change the organization’s name.
But as an institution dedicated to serving the New Haven community, we felt that it was our responsibility to respond to the charges leveled against us. Not to do so could be understood as an indication of our apathy in the face of an issue of concern to our colleagues in the community.
Our new initiatives are simply articulations of our ongoing work against racial prejudice and inequality. We are using this moment to rededicate ourselves to issues that have not received as much attention as they should have in the past. The News mistakes for “face-saving posturing” our genuine efforts to constantly improve our relationship with the communities in which we work.
Jessica Bulman ’02 and
Alan Schoenfeld ’02
November 13, 2001
The writers are co-coordinators of Dwight Hall.