Updated September 5, 2023
The time has long since passed for action to address the continuing pervasive influence of systemic racism on our campus, in our community, and in our country. Actions apparent to many for decades and exposed once more by police brutality and hate crimes recently have made clear that this current system is not designed to support and protect Black, Indigenous, People of Color’s (BIPOC) lives in our country.
The current Wells Scholars would like to take this time to reaffirm our support for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), international students, LGBTQIA+, 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 and actions to fight against institutional and systemic racism by continuing to attend rallies, to center the voices and perspectives of minority communities, and to provide a welcoming community for all. Although discrimination should be fought against regardless of context and circumstance, 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. The systemic plagues of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, and a multitude of other injustices always require attention, reflection, allyship, and action. We commit to the ongoing process of educating both ourselves and our community to do better, to learn, and to be advocates for justice.
This updated statement is a reflection of student values written by previous WAVE Student Leaders Abby McClain and Hana Shafique with the endorsement of Scholars and WSP leadership, Christoph Irmscher.
Ana Lim and Belle Chatpunnarangsee