Amnesty International petitions for the recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day
Wellesley’s chapter of Amnesty International, in collaboration with Wellesley’s Native American Student Association, has been collaborating over the past few months to draft a campus-wide petition that would replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. The petition- which is directed to Wellesley College’s President Paula Johnson- demands that Wellesley College officially honor and celebrate Indigenous People’s Day in place of Columbus Day on the second Monday of October. The petition was distributed via email less than two weeks ago and has already garnered over four hundred signatures and appears to have very broad campus support. In conjunction with the petition, Amnesty International hosted a Question & Answer led by Mahtowin Munro- who leads Indigenous Peoples Day efforts in Massachusetts. Munro spoke about the significance and importance of recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day, specifically in lieu of Columbus Day. She also discussed the harms of deifying Christopher Columbus by honoring him with his own holiday as it perpetuates myths about Columbus that serve to further marginalize the indigenous groups that he terrorized.
Ramadan celebrations commence
Muslim students, faculty and staff across Wellesley’s campus are now celebrating the month of Ramadan. For Muslims, Ramadan is a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. On Monday, May 6, Ramadan commenced, and it was celebrated with an open Iftar (breaking of fast) sponsored by the Muslim Chaplaincy & The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life. Additionally, on Thursday, May 2, Wellesley Al-Muslimat hosted an info-session for any and all students observing Ramadan in which students were provided with information regarding prayer spaces, where to get food and more.
Yanvalou performs their annual spring show
Yanvalou Drum & Dance Ensemble is a folkloric group that performs the traditional music and dance of Africa as it exists today in Haiti and Ghana. Founded in 1990, the ensemble is a student group at Wellesley college comprised of students, staff and visiting artists, directed by Kera Washington ’93 and advised by ethnomusicologist and sociologist Professor Gerdes Fleurant. Kanaval is the ensemble’s annual spring show and it featured special guest performances from Sarah Nwafor ’21, Aiko, Blue Steppers and Mather Elementary School. The performance took place on Saturday, May 4, and it was catered by local Haitian restaurant La La Restaurant.