U statement on racist incident on MLK Day

University of Utah Community:

On the day that so many of us celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with approximately 500 people gathering to march in the name of reconciliation and justice, a car on our campus was graffitied with the N-word. This word evokes white supremacy, reminds us that a violent, racist past is still with us today, and invokes fear at a time when we strive to ensure that all our staff, students, and faculty find their place as part of our campus community.

The university was able to identify the individuals involved in this case and is taking appropriate actions. We can say we will not tolerate such behavior, but when done covertly, we cannot stop the act in the moment. What we can do—and what we will do—is build our anti-racist muscles. We will start this week by attending our 2020 MLK Week events. We will continue to facilitate events and implement efforts that celebrate our communities as we witness an increasing number of racist acts on campuses across the nation.

We will not allow a cowardly act to divide us or make us fear one another. This is the time that we draw together. As such, we support the Office of the Vice President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion as it establishes a new initiative that will bring together several committees focused on creating a more inclusive community, both on and off campus.

Updates will be shared at SafeU.utah.edu as we learn more about this incident and a list of campus resources and support services are outlined below:

Ruth V. Watkins, President, University of Utah
Daniel A. Reed, Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs
Michael L. Good, Senior Vice President, Health Sciences