SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A fight to end racism and address racial equity on Wofford College’s campus. Dozens, if not hundreds of students and supporters gathered on the campus Thursday afternoon to do just that through a peaceful protest.
Step after step covered the grounds of Wofford’s campus Thursday.
Students spoke out, demanding justice and change.
“The fact that we’re just supposed to sit here and take racism along with trying be successful and trying to get to a specific goal, like why is that always on us? Why do we always have to compromise?,” said Wofford student with The Wofford Anti-Racism Coalition, Naya Taylor.
Naya Taylor is part of that push. She’s with The Wofford Anti-Racism Coalition. It’s a group that is addressing racial equities and demanding change within the walls of the school.
They have a list of changes they want to see.
Just a few of them include the following:
“An anti-racist an anti-bias training for all administrators, professional staff and advisors. We also want to expand the ODI budget, that stands for Office of Diversity and Inclusion,” said Wofford student with The Wofford Anti-Racism Coalition, Bryson Coleman.
Students joined that push through the form of a peaceful protest.
“I think it’s important to take the time to recognize where the differences and the way we are treated lie,” said Wofford Student, Leah Rahman.
During that protest, stops were made at some of the buildings whose names they want to see changed. That includes Carlisle Hall, Shipp Hall, and Wightman Hall.
“Those specific individuals were slave-holders,” Coleman said.
Protesters also allowed silence to fill eight minutes and 46 seconds of the protest to remember the life of George Floyd and others.
Leaders with Wofford addressed the protest. A spokesperson told 7 News, they recently formed a committee to lead a strategic visioning process focused on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.
However, these students told us, there is a long way to go.
“Instead of sitting in meetings and talking about what we can do, why don’t we get out of the meetings, come look at your students that are hurting and pleading for a change at Wofford,” said Wofford student with The Wofford Anti-Racism Coalition, Destiny Shippy.
You can find a full statement from a spokesperson with Wofford regarding the protest, along with more information on The Wofford Anti-Racism Coalition below.
Statement from Wofford College’s spokesperson Dudley Brown:
“Wofford College’s administration supports student involvement in social justice initiatives. We are proud that students are using their right to peaceful protest, and we affirm their commitment to making Wofford a more diverse, equitable and inclusive place for all students.
During the summer, the college formed a 16-member steering committee consisting of students, trustees, faculty and staff to lead a strategic visioning process focused on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. Dr. Debora Johnson-Ross, a 1981 Wofford graduate and chief operating office of Black Eagle Associates, was hired as a senior consultant for this work. The committee will focus on five areas:
· History, memory and place
· Curriculum, teaching and advising
· Student life
· Enrollment, recruitment and marketing
· Policies, procedures and JEDI structure”
More information on The Wofford Anti-Racism Coalition: https://woffordcoalition.blogspot.com/2020/06/wofford-anti-racism-coalition.html