Response to Odessa Sanchez’s statements regarding World of Wellesley

In response to Odessa Sanchez’s recent Facebook post, repeated disparaging remarks about World of Wellesley, and testimony at the 2020 Annual Town Meeting, we would like to share a brief statement.

At the June 23rd Town Meeting, Ms. Sanchez spoke against Article 42 with multiple statements that many people of color and white people in Wellesley found disturbingly racist and deeply offensive—in one statement she stated that Indigenous Peoples should continue to wait and have patience for recognition just as Black people have been waiting. The fact is: anti-Black sentiment and Indigenous erasure are inextricably linked.

Prior to this, Ms. Sanchez had attended only 1 World of Wellesley sub-committee meeting. As a community organization, World of Wellesley has a duty to respect all of our constituents, volunteers and committee members who were harmed by Ms. Sanchez’s words and who no longer felt they could work effectively with her on antiracist issues. We conveyed this to Ms. Sanchez and communicated that we respected her right to speak her truth and wished her well. World of Wellesley works collaboratively to foster an anti-racist and anti-bias community where diversity, equity and inclusion are fully embraced. We welcome collaboration with all community members who denounce racism, including Ms. Sanchez, if she so chooses.

For further context, please see the recording of the June 23rd Town Meeting that includes Ms. Sanchez’s testimony: