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In light of increasing acts of race-based hatred and violence locally and worldwide, Smith College has compiled this page to make explicit the college’s anti-discriminatory policies related to race, religion, national origin, and shared ancestry as applied to antisemitism and Islamophobia.

Antisemitism includes acts of violence, discrimination, harassment, and hatred against a person or persons who are, or who are perceived to be, of the Jewish faith or ethnically Jewish. 

Islamophobia and anti-Arab bias include acts of violence, discrimination, harassment, and hatred of Muslims and Arabs and those perceived to be Muslims or Arabs.

Some acts of antisemitism and Islamophobia are also crimes or violations of civil laws. Smith College strictly prohibits all forms of antisemitism and Islamophobia. 

Over the course of the fall 2023 semester, President Sarah Willie-LeBreton has written multiple letters affirming five key principles of the college with respect to preventing, stopping, and redressing antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of discrimination on campus:

Smith provides many outlets for community members to learn about antisemitism and Islamophobia and address related discrimination.

Learn

To learn more: 

The Smith community is invited to a Generating Justice and Joy gathering on February 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Helen Hills Chapel.

All are welcome, in alignment with:

  • The belief that vengeance is a losing battle, that violence is a “failure of the imagination,” and that dehumanization leads to suffering.
  • A hunger for authentic conversation and a desire to accept and be accepted regardless of knowledge, opinions, or identity.
  • Care for those suffering from the impacts of violence forced evacuation, and the desire to end cycles of trauma.
  • The desire to interact meaningfully with members of the Smith community access areas—students, staff, and faculty.

Join the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and President Sarah Willie-Lebreton, along with the Office of Equity and Inclusion, to “break bread” together. A wholesome and delicious hot meal (vegetarian with DF and GF options) will be served as we grapple with violence in the Middle East and beyond, sharing in our common humanity and collective hopes for a better world.

Smith’s on-campus community is invited to join a conversation between Justin Cammy, Professor of Jewish Studies and World Literatures, and Suleiman Ali Mourad, Myra M. Sampson Professor of Religion, and moderated by Darcy Buerkle, Professor of History, in which they will explore antisemitism and anti-Muslim and anti-Arab prejudice. This event will be held on Thursday, February 15, at 4:30 p.m. in Sweeney Concert Hall.

Students can take advantage of Smith courses that help further understanding of the context in which the current conflict in Israel and Palestine is occurring, offered by departments that include Anthropology, Government, History, Jewish Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, Sociology, World Literatures, and others.

Other programming for the spring 2024 semester is being planned and will be added as developed. 

Report

What to do if you learn about or experience an act of antisemitism or anti-Muslim or anti-Arab racism: 

  • If you have concerns regarding physical safety, call Campus Safety at 413-585-5555.
  • Report acts of antisemitism or Islamophobia to Campus Safety at 413-585-5555 or the Northampton Police Department at 413-587-1100. 
  • Report violations of college policies by contacting Martha Alexander, Director of Non-Discrimination Initiatives and Title IX Coordinator.
  • Report acts of discrimination through Ethicspoint.

Support

To find support: