Monday Moments with President Bergman: March 1, 2021

Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman shares her thoughts with College students, faculty, and staff each week.
Posted on March 1st, 2021 by

Last year at this time, final preparations were underway for the Building Bridges Conference, our community’s annual student-led justice conference. The event was scheduled for Saturday, March 7, 2020.

President Rebecca M. Bergman

Though we knew COVID-19 was spreading in the United States, our area was yet to be affected. The first case of the virus was announced in Minnesota on March 6, 2020. The Building Bridges Conference went off without a hitch the next day as students celebrated the event’s 25th anniversary by focusing on themes of climate justice and sustainability. Soon thereafter, everything changed. Classes moved online, most students left the campus, and we, along with the rest of the world, learned new behaviors such as social distancing and wearing a facial covering.

This Saturday, March 6, 2021, marks the 26th annual Building Bridges Conference. The theme, “Revolutionizing Tomorrow: Envisioning a World of Collective Liberation,” provides our community the opportunity to reflect on the last year–the many impacts of COVID-19, the killing of George Floyd and renewed calls for racial justice, and a contentious election season–and look with optimism to the world we hope to build.

Conference co-chairs Amanda Braun ’21 and Chelsea Boyden ’21 and the other student leaders who made this conference a reality have been creative, thoughtful, and flexible in crafting a virtual conference that will connect our community with two guest speakers and a variety of workshops and action pieces. I encourage you to tune in virtually to learn, connect, and grow on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.

In addition to Saturday’s conference, the Building Bridges committee and several other student leadership groups have planned a weeklong slate of events focusing on issues of social justice. Follow along and learn more on the Gustavus Building Bridges Instagram account.

Gusties, this is an opportunity to reflect on the challenges and moments of connection that each of us have experienced since last March. As we look back on a difficult year and turn our eyes with hope to the future, the Building Bridges Conference serves as a timely reminder that we are more powerful when we work together for change.

Please join me this Saturday in celebrating the good work of our students who planned the conference and learning from the speakers and events about how each of us can help build an inclusive and equitable world.

Yours in community,

President Bergman


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