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"McCarthy, Duncan" <[log in to unmask]>
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McCarthy, Duncan
Thu, 11 Jun 2020 15:48:10 -0700
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WOC Members,

The Williams Outing Club Board is deeply angered by the murders of George
Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and the countless other
black Americans who have been victims of racial violence and police
brutality. We are reaching out to the community to express our full support
for the Black Lives Matter movement and for the fight against systemic
racism, which is inherent in our nation’s culture and institutions. We
stand in solidarity with the people of color in WOC and the greater
Williams community always, and especially during this time. We see you. We
hear you. We know that’s not enough.

We have spent the last week discussing and deciding how to best use our
resources and platform to take action, both in the short and in the long

The outdoors is an exclusive, racialized space that perpetuates systems of
white imperialist patriarchy. WOC and the WOC Board are complicit in and
reflect this pattern. While we actively seek to address this through our
programming and efforts to fulfill our mission- “to support outdoor
activities at Williams and to make the outdoors accessible to everyone,
regardless of level of experience”— there is still so much work to be done.

As the largest student organization on campus, we join other student groups
to call on the College to financially support organizations which fight
racism. We demand that the College be more transparent about its
investments to be held accountable for their impacts. We also call upon the
College to invest both financially and organizationally in The Davis Center
and IWS to better support students of color.

We are holding our organization responsible to use our resources and
platform to combat racism. These are the first steps we are taking:

1. Each year, we allocate our Mountain Day T-Shirt profits to an
organization we are passionate about and/or to our financial aid programs.
This year we have decided to donate $800 to the Massachusetts Bail Fund
<https://www.massbailfund.org/> for immediate, locally-focused action, $800
to the In Solidarity Project <https://www.insolidarityproject.com/> to
improve accessibility in the outdoor community, and $800 to the Charles
Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice
<https://charleshamiltonhouston.org/> to target long-term, policy-oriented
change. We are also committed to donating $500 to the In Solidarity Project
annually for the next four years and to similar organizations that support
diversity in the outdoors every year after that.

2. We are creating a Standing Committee for Diversity, Equity, and
Inclusion composed of members from both the Board and the broader campus
community to spearhead our initiatives, conduct a thorough audit of our
current practices, and advise the Board on ways to improve our

3. We will increase our focus on educational programs, such as film
screenings and invited speakers, that challenge our notions of the outdoors
and provide opportunities for members of the Williams community to become
better informed about past and current patterns of exclusivity in the

4. In order to reinforce and improve WOC’s work supporting diversity in our
programming, we will continue to work with MinCo, student groups, and the
Davis Center to address the barriers to inclusion in the outdoors and to
carve out safe and accessible spaces in the outdoors for minoritized folks.

We acknowledge that the steps listed above are just a starting point;
overcoming the biases and prejudices that exist in the outdoors will
continue to be part of our ongoing mission. We are still learning, and we
encourage the WOC and Williams communities to engage with us in this

In Solidarity,

The WOC Board

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