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Last Updated: Apr 16, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Yes We Can!



Claiming an Education Adrienne Rich

You cannot afford to think of being here to receive an education, you will do much better to think of yourselves as being here to claim one. One of the dictionary definitions of the verb "to claim" is: to take as the rightful owner; to assert in the face of possible contradiction. "To receive" is to come into possession of, to act as receptacle or container for; to accept as authoritative or true. The difference is that between acting and being acted-upon and for women it can literally mean the difference between life and death.

Excerpt from Adrienne Rich's convocation address, "Claiming an Education," Douglass College, 1977. Douglass College was a renowned women's college, 1918-2007. It is now named Douglass Residential College and is a part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Full text of speech can be found here.



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