By SOPHIE WEBB, Staff Writer
Bryn Mawr hosted it’s annual Community Day of Learning on Wednesday, March 22. This year’s Community Day of Learning (CDL), brought together community members to discuss the topic of Minds and Bodies: Belonging in Our Communities.
The day began with an opening ceremony in Schwartz Gym, where participants had the opportunity to mingle before dispersing to the first of three time blocks, each of which offered a variety of sessions including performances, workshops, lectures, and discussions. Time blocks one and two were followed by a community lunch and the opportunity to visit some pets on the Merion Green before proceeding to a third time block. The closing session in Thomas Great Hall rounded out the day.
Session topics ranged from “The Politics of Community, Representation, and Gerrymandering in PA,” to “Race and Bryn Mawr,” to “Modern Square Dancing, Gay and Straight.” Said Allegra Wham BMC ‘19, “The most difficult part (of CDL) for me was choosing which session to pick, because there were so many interesting options.”
The campus teemed with community members. “[It] is so important that the community can go,” Wham noted, “because we get to interact with the faculty and staff more than we would on a normal day.” Precious Robinson BMC ‘19, who led the facilitated dialogue session on “Race and Bryn Mawr,” said that the discussion in her session “was shaped by everyone in the room, which included students, faculty, and staff from multiple departments.”
Robinson was pleased with how her session turned out. “We really got to see how race is talked about and, in many cases, ignored at Bryn Mawr,” she said. “Better still, I think it helped challenge people’s beliefs about how they go about affecting racial progress on campus.”
When asked about about how the Bryn Mawr community can expand on these discussions beyond the CDL, she answered, “We need to prioritize them… we should never stop having these conversations. Once we as individuals and as a campus realize that, we won’t have to worry about whether the conversations will continue.”
Robinson expressed an idea about how the CDL can be improved in the future. “I look forward to the day when we can figure out how to get the information from all the sessions into something that can be looked at afterwards.” She added, “No one can go to every session, but every session has great information available.”
The CDL is an important and valuable opportunity for community members to come together and engage in discussion, activity, and thoughtful consideration. Yet it is certainly not the only opportunity to discuss ideas on campus, and the conversations born out of this period of collaboration do not have to end with the closing ceremony. In this way, the CDL has the potential be a jumping off point for further growth, conversation, and learning.