In an email sent to the Meredith undergraduate student body on Wednesday, Oct. 27, Meredith SGA announced an additional way that student leadership is supporting diversity, equity and inclusion through an initiative called “A Better Wake.” To quote the email, A Better Wake is a “newly-launched initiative that seeks to gain community members, organizations, businesses and the community-at-large to commit to dismantling systemic racism”.
A Better Wake aims to build a better Wake County, a community that strives to understand and combat racism. This initiative will work towards this goal by addressing minority groups. “Their mission seeks to call attention to the histories and realities facing our community regarding groups that are underrepresented and marginalized. The realities are rooted in systematic racism,” SGA President Sarah Powell, ‘22, said.
Meredith SGA leadership first heard about A Better Wake as a result of their partnership with Cooperating Raleigh Colleges (CRC). “[Through CRC], Jeanine Carryl (SGA Vice President) and I attend monthly meetings with other SGA Presidents and VPs in Wake County. [Recently] we met with Danya Perry, Director of Equitable Development at Wake County Development,” Powell said. “He informed us about A Better Wake and told us that he worked on analyzing the economic disparities in Wake County — especially amid the pandemic.”
Meredith students can get involved with A Better Wake in a variety of ways. The first step, Powell stated, is “taking action and joining the commitment as a community member.” Powell emphasized the importance of standing up for “equity and the marginalized, engaging in active listening for understanding and speaking out against injustices.”
In terms of SGA’s involvement, Powell explains that one of SGA’s aspirations is to “establish a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) position on the Executive Board.” She believes A Better Wake is a great initiative for the Meredith community to participate in because their mission “aligns with some of our goals for the year: to build inclusiveness and empathy around campus, use our platform to advocate for inclusivity and support students' concerns and initiatives on campus.”
Powell speaks for SGA leadership when expressing the importance of action, engaging in active listening, speaking out against injustices and respecting differences. Additionally, Powell claims that SGA will consistently use their platform to make critical, necessary changes around campus. The Meredith community is encouraged to attend weekly meetings on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. in Harris 208, where they can bring questions, comments or concerns. A Better Wake also has resources for those who are interested in how to take action. This information can be found here.
By Hannah Porter, Opinion Editor