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Perry House

The Perry House was purchased by Bryn Mawr College in 1962 from the Perry family. Originally serving as a Spanish language house, in the 1970s African-American students and members of The Sisterhood advocated to have use of the house for self-selective housing and their request was granted. Perry House also became home to the Black Cultural Center and Library, which was revitalized in 2005.

Over the years, eligibility to live in the house has been expanded to members of The Sisterhood, BaCASO, and Mujeres. In addition to housing, the Perry House has provided students with event space for club meetings, dinners and food demos, parties, and most importantly, bonding and community building. Perry has become a safe space for students who choose to live, work, and socialize in the house. And although Perry serves as a resource and community for students of color, it has hosted gatherings that welcome and bring our larger campus community together to celebrate the diverse cultural experiences represented at Bryn Mawr.

 

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History of The Sisterhood

In 1970, African-American students and members of The Sisterhood submitted a list of demands to President Katharine McBride:

We the undersigned Black women of Bryn Mawr College find it impossible to tolerate the present conditions of this campus, and therefore voice our dissatisfaction in the following demands:

1. We demand the fourth appointment in Sociology as promised by September, 1970. Thi

s appointment should be a Black professor.

2. We demand the appointment of a Black professor in English and the reappointment of Mr. Herbert Aptheker in History.

3. We demand an appointment of a Black professor to fill other vacancies– Biology, Psychology, and Economics.

4. We demand an African American house. This house will be a cultural center, housing the Black Library, and a meeting place for business and social functions. We suggest the present Spanish House for this purpose.

5. We demand Bryn Mawr’s support in (facilities and faculty) a summer Pre-Enrollment program starting summer 1970. We also demand that Bryn Mawr should supply funds in the event that outside funds are not sufficient.

6. We demand that there will be a diligent effort to increase the Black enrollment and to provide funding for intensive recruitment program to find qualified applicants.

7. We demand that African languages and literature satisfy major requirements (language, literature, and/or major) and that transportation allowances be provided for these courses and other courses that have to be taken outside of the Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore community. We demand that these languages be introduced into the Bryn Mawr curriculum by September 1971.

8. We demand increased Black employment i.e. Black secretaries, librarians, bookshop clerks, etc. We want a progress report on May 1, 1970.

9. We demand the address of the maids and porters by respectful titles i.e. Mr., Mrs., Miss. We want this done by Administrative memorandum.

10. We demand the total revamping of the educational structure of Bryn Mawr College through student and faculty participation in college decisions

 

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Sisterhood 2012-2013

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