Updated June 17, 2020
The time has long since passed for action to address the continuing pervasive influence of systemic racism on our campus, in our community, and our country. Actions apparent to many for decades, and exposed once more by police brutality over the past weeks have made clear, hopefully to all of us, that this current system is not designed to support and protect Black lives in our country.
The current Wells Scholars would like to take this time to reaffirm our support for the Black Lives Matter movement, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), international students, LGBTQ+, minority, and underrepresented groups in our program and on campus. The Wells Scholars Program has long since sought to bring together students on the IU campus to create diverse communities of thought and background, but the truth is that we need to do better.
It is our responsibility as people to use our voice on the Bloomington campus to commit to engaging in the necessary dialogue about institutional and systemic racism. We remain fully cognizant of historical shortcomings and promise to do our part to address disparities that continue to pervade our community and beyond in any way possible.
We as Wells Scholars have the unique opportunity to raise awareness and to educate through our student-led organization, Wells Activism and Volunteer Effort (WAVE). WAVE was founded to promote community involvement and advocacy in the Bloomington community, and we renew our commitment to do so for marginalized voices on campus. It is our responsibility to listen, to learn, and to lead our program in its goal to foster a diverse community of thought and action. WAVE’s evolving plan to uphold this commitment can be found here.
As a student organization, WAVE leaders understand and recognize that they do not have all the answers. This is not an excuse for inaction. We commit to the ongoing process of educating both ourselves and our community as a whole to do better, to learn, and to be advocates for justice.
This statement is a reflection of student values written by WAVE Student Leaders with the endorsement of Scholars and WSP leadership, Christoph Irmscher, Elspeth Hayden, and Kristin Varella.
Abby McClain and Hana Shafique
2020 WAVE Co-Directors