Amherst College Bicentennial 1821 2021 November 12, 2020, marks the fifth anniversary of the Amherst Uprising, a weekend-long occupation of Frost Library during which students of color, among others, gave testimony about their struggles and marginalization at Amherst. In response to the Uprising, the College enacted several measures designed to foster a more inclusive campus environment.

Student activism continues in 2020 through Black Amherst Speaks and the call to Reclaim Amherst. Amherst College will commemorate the Amherst Uprising's fifth anniversary through a series of Amherst College Bicentennial events throughout the coming months.

Learn about the original 2015 Amherst Uprising, and register for upcoming events below.

Past Events

From Protest to Progress: Five Years of Being Human in STEM @ Amherst and Beyond

November 19, 2020

Speakers: Louise Atadja ’16, Prof. Sony Coráñez Bolton, Sarah Bunnell, Nicole Chung ’22 Kristen Greenland, Prof. Sheila Jaswal, Megan Lyster, Gaby Mayer ’16, Prof. Leah Schmalzbauer, Sanyu Takirambudde ’18

Alumni Reflections on the Fifth Anniversary of Amherst Uprising

Thursday, November 12

This conversation between Amherst Uprising alumni begins with reflection on the fifth anniversary and the digital website and continues towards present-day challenges of diversity, equity, and inclusion at and outside the College.

Black Student Activism and the Struggle for Institutional Change in Higher Education

Thursday, November 5

Dr. Stefan Bradley, author of Upending the Ivory Tower: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Ivy League, in conversation with Amherst College student activists Jeremy Thomas '21 and Kyndall Ashe '18.

For Further Reading

Three Black woman sitting on a table in a library smiling

The Women of the Uprising

In 2018, on the eve of their graduation, the three friends who sparked the transformative campus protest of 2015 shared their thoughts.

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A Black woman standing in a book-filled office


This 2019 article describes how a Mellon fellowship is recruiting and mentoring Amherst students to become professors--and how this effort is one legacy of the Amherst Uprising.

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A young Black man speaking in front of a group of people

Home: Some Thoughts on the Frost Library Protests

Cullen Murphy '74, then chair of the College's board of trustees, reflected in 2016 on the Uprising, the liberal arts and the aspirational idea of home.

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A woman speaking in front of a crowd of protestors

Being Human in STEM: Moving from Student Protest to Institutional Progress

Professor Sheila Jaswal examines her experiences with the Amherst Uprising and what this "transformative moment of reckoning" means for STEM education at the College.

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