Dear Wellesley Community,
Over a month ago, white supremacists and neo-nazis marched in Charlottesville. Two weeks later, the Trump administration announced that it would be rescinding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act (DACA). A week following that, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it is planning to end Title IX, and this weekend, several people were arrested in St. Louis, Missouri for protesting yet another incident of police impunity for taking a Black life.
These events have several threads in common; they are all forms of structural violence where people’s humanity, dignity, and safety are undermined and attacked with little to no consequence. They are developments that reiterate a reality that many of us from marginalized backgrounds and racialized communities know all too well; “security” and “freedom” in the United States are not inclusive, and do not serve all. For many, it is the very institutions that proclaim to protect and serve us that instead profile, attack, exploit and criminalize our communities, all the while normalizing violence in society.
More personally, what these incidents have in common is that they directly impact members of our Wellesley community. They raise questions of uncertainty and fear for the safety, livelihood and well being of our siblings and their loved ones, they raise outrage and frustration with how much this violence is normalized, and they raise a question of how we as a community are going to protect and support each other.
In light of this we, Wellesley College Government Cabinet, hope our community will stand further committed to affirming, and reaffirming the values we hold; inclusion and equity, in preserving and uplifting each other’s dignity, humanity and wellbeing.
We hope that our community can be one that is not silent or absent in the face of injustice. One that recognizes and honors the courage and necessity of protesting injustice despite the potential consequences. A community that is not apathetic to the pain, and courage of our siblings and their struggles.
We should continue striving to take care of one another, use our power to step up and show up, while acknowledging discomfort and real fears. Further, we hope that as members of an intellectual community, we are able to bring the tools and knowledge we engage with in our classrooms to inform and activate us.
To all of our siblings who have been directly impacted by Charlottesville, by St. Louis, by DACA, and by the threat to Title IX; our Black siblings, our immigrant siblings, our undocumented siblings and our siblings who are survivors, we see you, and we stand with you.
To our siblings who are scared, shocked, confused, or overwhelmed by the impact of these events, we see you. We hear you, and we are here for you.
As Cabinet, we have discussed time and time again how we hope to see our siblings and ourselves not only survive but thrive. To those of us who are not directly impacted, yet still feel scared and overwhelmed, let us channel our energy into stepping up for those who are directly impacted.
Inaction only frustrates us further, and fear, unchecked, dominates and makes us forget our power. Bravery is not characterized by a lack of fear, but how we allow ourselves to respond, in the face of fear. In your struggle, you are not alone. In your fear, you are not alone, in this community, we are not alone. Because being part of a community allows us to know that when we individually are not able, others will show up for us.
We hope that you find spaces that nurture you, that inspire you, that reflect your strength back to you and empower you in the ways you want to grow. We hope that as we turn inward to reflect on who we are, and the kind of people we strive to be, we remember to look around, and ask ourselves what kind of community we want to be in, and recognize our role in building that community.
As the year goes on, Cabinet is committed to ensuring we have the necessary conversations with administration to be aware of the resources we have for our student body. We will not be afraid to ask for resources and nor should you be – they are meant for students. And where these resources fall short of addressing needs, we urge you to engage with us as your advocates to demand better.
Consider this an invitation, please feel free to send us your feelings, your thoughts, your uncertainties and your ideas.
With solidarity and love,
Your College Government Cabinet ’17-’18
CG Multicultural Affairs Coordinator: Dina Al-Zu’bi [firstname.lastname@example.org]
CG President: Maryam Khan [email@example.com]
CG Vice-President: Karen Su [firstname.lastname@example.org]
CG Chair of Communications & Finances: Margot Lipin [email@example.com]
CG Student Bursar: Natalie Jin [firstname.lastname@example.org]
CG Chief Justice Tashay Campbell [email@example.com]
House Presidents’ Council-CG Liaison: Maggie Neel [firstname.lastname@example.org]
CG Director of On-Campus Affairs: Paige Cheatham [email@example.com]
CG Committee for Political and Legislative Awareness Chair: Sarah Nealon [firstname.lastname@example.org]