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by on February 9th, 2011

A few months out of the Van Wickle Gates, I’m able to look back on my time at Brown and understand that the most important physical and emotional space for me on campus was the Third World Center. I know that not all students, or even students of color, feel welcome at the Third World Center, and I understand that the ideology of the TWC does not align with the views of some people on Brown’s campus, but speaking for myself, I believe in the values espoused in the TWC’s mission statement and I wholeheartedly believe that the TWC should not change its name or purpose. I don’t mind explaining to people the origin of the term “Third World,” and I think that the political charge of the phrase shows that Brown is committed to encouraging dialogue among its students as well as to increasing diversity, in the truest sense of the word: diversity of thought, in addition to the general demographic diversity touted by many other colleges’ multicultural centers.

What the TWC provided for me was a safe space to discuss issues of personal/political importance. As many of us learn at Brown, “The personal is political.” The TWC provides an arena for discourse on a number of topics that are of great importance to not only the Brown student of color community, but also the world at large. I think there are many students on campus who would agree that the TWC exposed them to viewpoints and issues that they may not otherwise have learned about prior to coming to Brown. The TWC expanded my worldview while strengthening my bonds to the Brown community, and it also made me question things more deeply. What is community? What is unity, for that matter? For me, community was the TWC and unity existed even among those with clashing ideologies and different backgrounds: I found that the TWC encouraged disagreement in discourse, and variety in viewpoints.

On Brown’s campus in the past few months, a new class has come through the Van Wickle Gates, buildings have been renamed, and new structures have been erected, and I appreciate the changes that occur, each day, on our campus. But one thing that I hope remains the same, in spirit, for the foreseeable future, is the Third World Center. I remain ever true to Brown, and ever true to the TWC’s mission.

Natasha Go ’10

From → Testimonials, TWC

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