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The Scarlet & Black

“Doing organizing at Grinnell” promotes activism

“Doing Organizing at Grinnell” strives to organize Grinnell activists.

By Ridhika Agrawal

“Doing Organizing at Grinnell,” a new publication at Grinnell College, intends to support activism and organization on campus. It is led by Nate Williams ’20 and Ella Williams ’19. So far, they have had two publications, one of which was a preview and the other a full version. A conversation about the campus’s response to the current social and political environment inspired the publication.

“[Nate] is my brother and it was his idea, actually, he and I were talking about it a lot over break at home and it was sort of like, it came out of this discussion we were having about how there are a lot of organizations at Grinnell and they seem sort of disconnected sometimes. And instead of starting more organizations, to connect the other organizations, we decided to make a publication so that people could see all of the information and the activist events, the affinity groups and have all the information compiled in one place.” Ella Williams said.

But the publication has another, more universal objective, apart from organizing at Grinnell.

“Institutional memory is something that we are trying to tackle as well. Because there is a cycle at a lot of campuses where every four years there will be a huge movement for something and the students will achieve that and the administration will implement it but then two or three years later when those people who fought for that are gone, the administration will make those changes back and there will have to a whole other fight again,” Nate Williams said.

“Doing Organizing at Grinnell” strives to organize Grinnell activists.

The project also intends to preserve a record of current activism.

“It can also be more of a subtle thing. Being at Grinnell, we do have the archives in the basement of Burling but there isn’t really any compilation of all the activism that has happened in it. As a school that has such a rich history of activism, I think we need that. This is also serving as an archival project to document everything that is happening,” Ella Williams said.

The publication intends to serve as a complete guide for how to be an activist on campus.

“It has a blurb about who we are, contact info, events all related to activism, there is a lot of art because art here is very intertwined with activism and each issue we are going to have some opinion pieces. We also have a little game at the end, also the resources are on the back. It’s like a guide of how someone can be active on campus” Ella Williams said.

They have also been working on further improving the publication and its contents.

“We are working with people to get DOG into the archives and the archives into DOG. I met with Chris Jones [Archivist of the College] and Allison Hack [Library Assistant] and they talked a lot about publications from the past in Grinnell that had been like this. We might implement a weekly section that says something like ‘on this day in 1957 there was a protest and this is what happened’. So this continues along the theme of communicating between people across both the campus and time,” Nate Williams said.

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