Through her powerful work as a facilitator, community organizer, and Senator in the Undergraduate Student Government, Deja Wells is fostering a Tulane community that is more equitable, inclusive and ethically engaged with the New Orleans community. For the past two years, Deja has worked on local political campaigns, supported equity in Tulane's admissions processes, helped mentor young girls through Project Butterfly and facilitated dialogues around social justice issues as a Community Engagement Advocate. Most recently, Deja worked with hundreds of stakeholders to pass a never-before-seen bill creating an "Equity Fee" to create sustainable funding for a variety of offices serving Tulane's historically marginalized and underrepresented groups. Deja's work on the "Equity Fee" has inspired a growing movement of students working through an intersectional lens to transform campus culture.
I began my exploration of social justice work during high school. My high school specifically was an all-white high school before it was desegregated near the end of the Civil Rights Movement. I was discouraged during my time there from starting an NAACP Chapter that would have been used to empower students. It is since then that I have found the voice and determination to work in the interest of other students on my college campus as well as the New Orleans community. That one hurdle pushed me to want to request more from institutions in which I reside. I am apart of a fellowship program, Public Service Fellows, which has allowed me to facilitate discourse between my university and Project Butterfly. Project Butterfly, an organization that serves young girls and women who have recently incarcerated parents. I also participate in an organization, Les Griots Violet, which is a Pro-Black anti-racist organizing group. Who has passed legislation at the undergraduate level that seeks to equity on my campus.