World of Wellesley (WOW) is an organization that partners with local institutions to create programs that put an emphasis on exploring diversity. On October 1, they began the 30-Day+ Racial Equity Indigenous Peoples Challenge as a way to increase the community’s awareness, understanding, and engagement in conversations about people of native and native nation descent. The campaign provides four entry points: read, watch, listen, and act to create multiple ways for people to enter this conversation.
Ms. Christina Horner and Ms. Nova Biro, the co-Presidents of WOW, based this on a 21-day program curated by Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., Ms. Debby Irving, Ms. Marguerite Penick-Parks, and Ms. Claudia A. Fox Tree, who are national educators and activists. WOW extended the program to be 30 days, but kept its focus on Indigenous People.
“First and foremost, we want to keep Indigenous People front and center…the goal is to increase awareness and have the discussions and to do this as a community,” said Horner.
WOW plans to hold future events like movie screenings and discussions for community members to come together and examine what they’ve learned through the thirty day program. Biro also emphasized the importance for the public to come together in events like this.
“We are working to make it easier for students and other community members to become involved in WOW and to join us as volunteers for the different events and campaigns that we work on,” said Biro.
One of the main goals of WOW is to build on future collaborations with organizations throughout the town to highlight the importance of diversity in the community.
“There are a lot of great groups in town doing important work. We plan to do as much as we can work collaboratively, because equity, diversity and inclusion impacts us all. I think it’s very important to model for the community in terms of the spirit of collaboration and working together,” said Horner. “It’s very important if we’re really ever going to move forward on some of these initiatives, and also deal with a lot of the challenges that we have and can no longer ignore, even in a town like Wellesley,”
As a local organization, WOW aims to encourage participation in volunteering from people from all walks of life so that every voice is heard. They aspire to make Wellesley not only a welcoming place, but one where anti-bias and anti-racist principles are reflected throughout the community.
“Regardless of their age, race, ethnicity, or gender orientation, we want everyone to know that there are multiple opportunities for people to get involved…And the more voices as possible get involved, the better,” said Horner.