UW students complain school's 'Race & Equity' office isn't committed to racial equity
Hundreds of Black Lives Matter (BLM) students interrupted a discussion on race and equity, alleging that their school’s office of “race and equity” is not committed to racial equity.
According to The Seattle Times, President Ana Mari Cauce of the University of Washington (UW) established an office of race and equity last year after a similar BLM protest occurred on her campus. Students, however, continue to insist that their school is not doing enough.
“We demand Equity [sic] and not Equality [sic],” protesters said when explaining their reason for the protest.
The more than 200 students marched through their campus Tuesday with several faculty and staff members before taking over a university sponsored event on microaggressions and other subtle forms of racism.
“Something needs to happen, and it needs to happen right away,” one student shouted during the protest. “We’re here to have a revolution.”
The protesters complained that a mere discussion on racial equity was not enough, and in turn issued a list of several demands, which called for a 25 percent increase in faculty of color and stricter monitoring of police officers on campus.
“Despite Black Lives Matter resolutions calling for radical reform on policing, we continue to see the disproportionate targeting of Black Bodies [sic],” the group wrote on its Facebook page. “Black Students [sic] continue battle [sic] Institutional [sic] systems that benefit off of the prison slave labor.”
BLM protesters also demanded that the university formally acknowledge that it is located on the ancestral land of the Duwamish people, and asked for the renaming of two streets on campus. The streets, Stevens Way and Whitman Court, celebrate men who were allegedly responsible for the “indigenous genocide,” students said.
Several faculty members and administrators joined students in the protest, including UW’s vice provost, who said he is proud of his students for disrupting the event.
“In many ways, they’re right,” Vice Provost Ed Taylor said. “I’m proud of our students. They spoke the truth.”
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