This is a message emailed by Provost Rogan Kersh and Vice President Penny Rue on Feb. 3 to students, faculty and staff:
To the Wake Forest community:
On Monday, President Hatch affirmed the University’s values in the wake of the recent executive order singling out political/social refugees and other immigrants from a list of seven majority-Muslim countries. In addition, President Hatch, along with many other university presidents and chancellors, this week signed a letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly emphasizing the “chilling effect” of the Administration’s executive order “on the ability of international students and scholars to continue to see the U.S. as a welcoming place for study and research.” Wake Forest University leaders pledge our continued support for all our students, faculty and staff, particularly those potentially at risk of having their education disrupted by this and similar policies.
We continue to work with students as well as faculty and staff on campus who have personal or familial concerns about possible changes to immigration status, including the DACA policy. Law School professor Margaret Taylor is coordinating this effort, along with José Villalba of the College Dean’s Office.
Through conversations across our community we understand that many seek to engage directly in activities consonant with our mission and values: educating ourselves and one another about ongoing developments and their implications, or extending assistance to those newly arrived in our city. This is an initial list of the many encouraging actions taking place on our campus and locally. We will continue to update the list at the Community in Progress website.
If you are interested in supporting recently-arrived refugees in Winston-Salem, information about ‘Every Campus a Refuge,’ and related opportunities, is available through Michaelle Browers in the Department of Politics and International Affairs and/or Sam Perrotta in the Provost’s Office. Michelle Voss-Roberts from the Divinity School and Alessandra Von Burg from the Department of Communication have joined in this effort — a testament to the cross-university nature of many related actions.
For those seeking to learn more about the administration’s executive order on immigration/ refugees, open discussions, led by faculty, staff and students are scheduled in the near future.
Today at 3 p.m. in Pugh Auditorium, a group of interdisciplinary faculty will host a forum on the administration’s refugee and immigration policy.
Next Wednesday, Feb. 8, our chapter of the national political-science honor society, Pi Sigma Alpha, will host a discussion focused on the President’s first 100 days in office, featuring faculty from the politics and international affairs department.
On Monday, Feb. 13, at noon, Law School faculty experts will discuss Trump Administration executive orders and other policies affecting immigration, climate change, and safety regulations in the 2nd floor courtroom of Worrell Professional Center.
Additionally, several campus groups are offering information and support:
Our Office of International Students and Scholars is also providing regularly updated information about the executive order’s apparent implications. Contact Kelia Hubbard for more information.
SAFAR is a group of Wake Forest students, faculty, and staff committed to supporting refugees in the Winston Salem community. Rose O’Brien is the founding member, and sponsored Refugee Day last semester. She is the 2017 recipient of a Martin Luther King Building the Dream Award for this work.
The Social Justice Incubator in the Kitchin Hall lounge is a discussion/engagement space for students concerned about the executive order and impact on immigrant and refugee populations. Contact Chizoba Ukairo, student coordinator, or Marianne Magjuka.
There are several ways to get involved beyond our campus boundaries. Several local organizations support immigrants and refugees:
World Relief High Point
CWS in Greensboro
North Carolina African Services Coalition
New Arrivals Institute
The Center for New North Carolinians
We salute the many Wake Foresters who are taking initiative, and urge all of us to do the same. If you are organizing or are aware of related efforts to inform, discuss or assist, please send details to Matt Williams or either of us, for inclusion on the Community in Progress site.
The degree of engagement across and beyond campus emphasizes the care Wake Foresters are taking, on many fronts, to ensure that our learning community is preserved and that our core commitment to inclusion is exemplified during this difficult time.
Rogan Kersh Penny Rue
Provost and Professor Vice President, Campus Life