Demand WageningenUniversity to conduct research on systemic racism within the organization

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In light of recent events in the U.S., the horrific murder of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement gained global momentum and attention. Several organizations, companies, governments showed solidarity with the movement by not only putting out a statement but also pledging to fight against systemic racism.

Wageningen University has yet (7th of June) to release a statement. With this petition we urge Wageningen University not only to release an official statement, but also to investigate to what extent Wageningen University contributes to systemic racism, as a university, an organization and in its curriculum. Research could potentially lead to policy recommendations that influence the development of good practices.

We, the students, employees and affiliates of Wageningen University and Research therefore demand that the organisation

  • conducts an internal research on lived experiences of racial or xenophobic discrimination of students and employees,
  • reviews its curriculum and programmes for perpetuating stereotypes and discriminatory beliefs,
  • aims for an intersectional management and teaching approach in which it is acknowledged that (including but not limited to) environmental, racial, gender, cultural and other global systemic problems interact and must thus be tackled in a inclusionary manner
  • and openly acknowledges the existence of structural and institutionalized racism in the Netherlands and in academia and vows to position herself as a future leader in inclusive research and education,

All of which should result in not only a comprehensive report but also policy recommendations for the whole organisation in order to assure 

  • The WUR’s commitment to  its Strategic Plan 2019-2022, which among others aims to 
    • “provide students and professionals with the knowledge and skills to understand and contribute to key global transitions” which we believe must include a general skill set shared by everyone in the organisation in terms of transdisciplinarity and intercultural communication (page 21),
    • ensure the well-being of all students with a particular focus on diversity and community-building (page 27),
    • Contributing to societal agendas such as SDG’s (page 33) which include, for example, equality and justice,
    • Fostering societal dialogue not only within the university but also with the municipality of Wageningen (page 34), which will allow for an overarching assessment of life quality beyond the university’s borders and finally
  • disseminate knowledge across fields of expertise (page 39) and
    The WUR’s mission statement of “Improving Quality of Life” which we believe must not only include improvements external of the organisation but must be an internal, reflexive process as well.

Please sign if you support WUR conducting research on systemic racism within the organization!