Letter from the Editors

Since 1833, Oberlin has been a site of progressive thought and activist initiatives toward making a better world. Over time, the definition of progressivism has changed, along with the values of this place and its residents. Through various forms of activism — be that protest, organizing committees, writing, art, speeches, or petitions — thousands of individuals and groups have participated in actualizing the Oberlin dream of being a place of change and movement. 

This special edition of The Oberlin Review is an exploration of the kinds of activism our community has participated in throughout history. The content features recollection, documentation, interpretation, and the imagination of activism through movements like institutional decolonization, the call for divestment from South Africa during Apartheid, recent efforts to combat anti-trans legislation, and much more. Each piece also considers the challenges of activism, like facing opposition from administrators or navigating systemic inequalities. Through these stories, the Review proposes a view of activism that takes on many forms, exists in varied spaces, is enacted by diverse groups of people, and confronts complex ideas. In its entirety, this newspaper is simultaneously a reflection on the past, a marker of our present, and an aspiration for the future of activism at Oberlin. We hope you enjoy reading it.