After nearly a week of police brutality protests nationwide, IU President Michael McRobbie and James Wimbush, IU vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs, condemned racism and reaffirmed the importance of diversity and equality at IU in online statements Sunday.
Wimbush said in his statement that it’s important to discuss issues including systematic racism and police brutality, and he said he understands how these issues have led to violent protests.
Wimbush, who is black, said he has faced intolerance and hatred himself, and he acknowledged these problems are present on IU campuses. But he emphasized the importance of confronting racism peacefully and safely.
“It’s vital that we have these difficult conversations, and it’s equally vital that we do so in a safe and civil manner,” Wimbush wrote. “It’s my hope that, in doing so, we can continue to take our feelings of anger, frustration, and uncertainty and translate them into thoughtful dialogue and action that will benefit our local and broader communities.”
McRobbie’s statement echoed many of Wimbush’s points. McRobbie said confronting racism is especially important on IU’s campuses, where “students of color now make up more than a quarter of the university’s total enrollment.”
“We must continue to insist that there is absolutely no room at IU for discrimination or harassment based on anyone’s actual or perceived race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or political beliefs,” McRobbie wrote. “We see our diversity as one of our cardinal virtues.”
Wimbush mentioned additional measures the university is working on to “create a more diverse and inclusive IU.”
“At IU, we denounce all forms of bigotry, hate, and racism, and we will continue to do so,” Wimbush said in his statement. “We believe strongly in a society that values the respect and dignity of life for all.”