Tag Archives: diversity conference

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse Visits Campus as Diversity Keynote

As Mayor, 24-year-old Alex B. Morse calls himself the Chief Marketing Officer for the city of Holyoke.  Kicking off the eleventh annual Diversity Conference last Thursday evening, he explained,  “We needed people with a fresh perspective for the city and someone who was going to mix things up, and that is essentially why I ran for the position.”

The youngest, and first openly gay, mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, Morse announced he was running for office as a senior at Brown University.  Rather than move to DC, Boston, or New York, Morse said he wanted to, “come home to the city that had given [him] so many opportunities.”

Holyoke Roots
“My family was pretty poor,” said Morse a Holyoke native.  Both of his parents grew up in Holyoke and met at Whiting Farms, one of the city’s low-income housing projects.  Morse’s mother married his father, at 17, when she became pregnant with the first of Morse’s two older brothers.

A proud product of the Holyoke public school system, Morse recalls high school as being a, “really great time,” but in his sophomore year his confidence started to wane.  “There was something about me that I didn’t feel was correct,” he said.  In February of that year, when Morse was 16, he came out to his best friend Alexandra.  “Once I did that I wanted to stop telling my friends because I didn’t want my parents to find out from a friend or a parent of a friend,” he said. Continue reading

Diversity Intern Maranie Harris-Kuiper ’15

Maranie Harris-Kuiper became involved with diversity at Williston her first day on campus.

“I always look for identity tags when I’m meeting new students, and hers were very clear,” said Bridget Choo, John Wright dorm head and director of diversity.  “Kids have them either on their wrists, their sweatshirts, or posters, but hers was a frame of Dr. Martin Luther King sitting on her desk,” she said.

The picture was a gift from Harris-Kuiper’s mother who has admired Dr. King her whole life.  His image and life’s work is a point of inspiration for both mother and daughter. Continue reading

Williston Northampton’s 10th Diversity Conference

ackmannJournalist, author, and Mount Holyoke College professor, Dr. Martha Ackmann has been chosen as the keynote speaker for Williston Northampton School’s 10th annual Diversity Conference on Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 8:30 AM.

Dr. Ackmann, who teaches in Mount Holyoke’s Gender Studies and English departments, is the author of The Mercury 13: the True Story of Thirteen Women and the Dream of Space Flight and Curveball: The Remarkable Story of Toni Stone, the First Woman to Play Professional Baseball in the Negro League.

Continue reading