Message from the dean: Responding to a racist note
Content warning: Racism and hate speech
Dear UW Law community:
It was brought to our attention on Monday afternoon that a racist note was posted on a newspaper rack in the William H. Gates Hall lobby. We, of course, condemn strongly expressions of hate as antithetical to UW Law’s and the University’s values. We acknowledge the impact hateful messages have on our community, especially our students of color.
This message has been removed, and the incident reported to UWPD. If you have information about this incident, please contact Anna Endter, our Dean for Students, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you see racist or hateful messages, flyers or posters, you can take them down, but we encourage you to contact the UWPD and Dean Endter to remove them. You can email email@example.com notifying them of the date, time and location of the posting/image and whether or not it was removed.
I also encourage you to report hateful flyers or graffiti using the UW bias reporting tool. That allows the University to better track these events for investigation. When incidents of hate crimes are reported to the UWPD, their protocol includes sharing that information with the FBI. The FBI considers hate crimes to be the highest priority of its Civil Rights Program and works closely with state and local law enforcement to track and investigate them.
Out of care and concern for our community - and particularly our students - who have been impacted by this message or an incident of hate speech or bias, you may contact:
Students: Anna Endter, our Dean for Students, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff and faculty: Sellyna Ehlers, our director of Human Resources, Equity and Engagement, at email@example.com.
You may also contact UW’s SafeCampus team, who has the expertise to help find the right resources; you can contact them at 206.685.SAFE (7233) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
And of course, if you see or hear anything that is an imminent threat to your physical safety or that of others, call 911.
We recognize that this abhorrent message was placed in our community at a time when we have pledged to redouble our efforts to advance diversity and inclusion, and at the beginning our national celebration of African-American History month. Please do not let the action of an anonymous coward or cowards succeed. Fear is what those who resort to these pathetic tactics want us to feel.
MARIO L. BARNES
Toni Rembe Dean and Professor of Law
University of Washington School of Law