In the March 17, 2008 edition of the Cyclone Spotlight, Laura Davis quoted Mills College Head Tennis Coach Marc Weinstein saying of Cyclones of the Week Claudia Bugarin and Alexa Turner, “They are a perfect match, complimenting each other both on and off the court. Claudia is the fiery Latina – hammering groundstrokes and first serves, and Alexa is the super-chill Hawaiian – placid and seemingly never missing a shot.”
As the APER Director, reading this statement in The Campanil was cause for concern and a call to action. Within the APER Department we strive to model and teach inclusiveness, respect for difference and mutual understanding.
Although we may have good intentions, it is clear that our action in this particular case reinforced harmful stereotypes and was hurtful. For that I am profoundly sorry. Such comments hurt not only those who share the backgrounds referred to in the statement, but they degrade the humanity within each of us. APER can and will do better. We view challenges and conflict as opportunities for dialogue, understanding, and coming together. Just as a trained athlete learns from her mistakes, I expect and am confident that APER will continue to be leaders in fostering mutual respect and will use this incident as a catalyst to learn how we can better serve all of our students. We will be using our APER and DSL resources to enhance our training and develop strategies to integrate intercultural best practices.
-Themy Adachi, APER Director
I want to publicly apologize for my part in writing the Cyclone Spotlight. While the quote (and my allowing it to be part of the story) was not meant to be hurtful, I understand in retrospect that it had that effect. I regret including the quote in the story and want to publicly acknowledge that these words were hurtful.
The coaches and staff of the athletic department are reevaluating how we can lead the way in diversity, inclusiveness, and making sure that everyone on this campus feels valued and accepted. As a department, we are committed to these values, and we would like to invite any student who feels concerned and hurt to engage in a dialogue with us so they can share their ideas of how we can make sure that this kind of thing does not happen again in the future. We strive to be leaders on campus and want to take this mistake and learn from it.
-Laura Davis, Head Coach, Cross Country and Track and Field
I would like to apologize to all who were offended by my recent writing of the Cyclone Spotlight. Although my intention was to describe only Alexa and Claudia, and to do so positively and with their consent, I recognize that my choice of words evoked racial stereotypes and were hurtful and have no place in an inclusive, respectful community.
While it is deeply disturbing to recognize that my words caused hurt, I am heartened to be affiliated with the Mills Community which strives to ensure the well-being of all of its members. As the Founding Director of the Mills Community Tennis Program, providing free tennis instruction, academic tutoring and mentoring to underserved children of color from the Oakland public schools, I have the privilege of making social justice a major tenet of my life’s work. It is with this zeal for helping others that I will try to learn how best to make my good intentions have a positive impact. I am committed to keeping the APER department on the cutting edge of social justice and modeling an inclusive, respectful community.
-Marc Weinstein, Head Coach, Tennis