Dear Members of the Barnard Community,

Tomorrow marks 20 years since the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington and over Pennsylvania. No doubt, this day touches members of the Barnard community in different ways. Some of us found our lives directly changed by the events of that day, whether it be through losses and trauma suffered. For others of us, especially our younger generation, you know 9/11 as history, as told to you by family and friends.

Yet, whatever our personal experience, these events continue to shape us and the world around us in profound ways. As scholars and students, we are bound to continue to examine, analyze, and act on the lessons of 9/11 and all that has followed, whether that is through the lens of political science, psychology, art, health, or a myriad of other fields. The events of that day have added layers of complexity to our foundational commitment to fight oppression, including anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic biases that are wrapped up in 9/11 and the global response to the attacks. In the most recent example, the suffering we see in Afghanistan right now traces back directly to that day — and, for Barnard, as a community focused on the education of women, the looming threats to our peers and a generation of students to come strike especially deep. 

Closer to home, Barnard is not just in New York, we are of New York, a vital element of a city that is now in part defined by 9/11 and the city’s response to it. We have a special role and obligation to heed this pivotal event and its lasting impact as we pursue our work. We are called to remember those lost on that day, and all who were wounded, physically and emotionally. We are reminded of our interdependence and the moral imperative to help and support one another, especially those in most need.

September 11 is designated nationally as an official Day of Remembrance and Service. In keeping with that, our Office of Community Engagement and Inclusion is participating in The Daffodil Project, the largest living memorial to the victims of 9/11 and the largest civic engagement effort in NYC led by New Yorkers 4 Parks. It is an opportunity for the Barnard community to connect and commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11.  

  • 9/10: On-Campus Daffodil Planting today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. next to the Athena statue with CE&I, the DEI cabinet, Barnard Facilities, and the Garden Club. Everyone is welcome — no registration required.
  • 9/11: At Morningside Park we will expand our participation in the Daffodil Project through planting and participating in a park cleanup from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Register here.

Other opportunities as a member of the Barnard community to learn more about the legacies of 9/11:

  • A documentary screening and panel event on Sept. 12 entitled "Memory to Legacy: Living with the Tragedies of 9/11." Panel to follow with Professors Thea Renda Abu El-Haj, J.C. Salyer, and guest speaker Cathlin Goulding. Event hosted by the Media Center, in collaboration with the CEP and DEI Cabinet) Register here.
  • The Monday Assemblies for Racial Justice, facilitated by Ife Leonard, MSW, EdM and Ariana Gonzalez Stokas, PhD, will begin the 2021-2022 academic year with a focus on 9/11. The Assemblies are an ongoing opportunity for the Barnard community to gather (either virtually or in person) and grapple with issues of racial and social justice on our campus, nationally, and around the world. All are welcome to attend virtually on September 13th at noon. Register here.

I hope you engage in some of these opportunities and please take some time to remember and reflect on this significant day.


Sian Leah Beilock