WMU faculty group calls on school to do more to combat racism

The appeal comes after reports of a staff-member who threatened a Black man with a noose.

A group of Black faculty and staff is calling on Western Michigan University to take steps to address racism and bigotry on its campus.

In a letter to the university, the WMU Black Faculty and Staff Council said that a culture of white supremacy has existed on campus for years.

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“These continued acts of racism and bigotry at Western Michigan University are having a negative impact on Black faculty, staff, students, retirees, alumni, donors, and most importantly, prospective Black students and their perception of the institution,” reads the letter.

The letter comes a little over a week after a Black employee filed a lawsuit against the university alleging they allowed racial intimidation against him to go unchecked.

Smith Moore, WMU’s director of event services and catering, said that another employee attempted to put a noose around his neck during a diversity and inclusion meeting in 2017. That employee was never punished, and was allowed to retire with full benefits.

In an interview with WWMT, Jamel Fortune, a member of the school’s Black Student Union, said minority students deal with discrimination “pretty much all the time.”

“From the classroom from walking around on campus, you can obviously see it through the microaggressions through other students and faculty sometimes,” she said.

University President Edward Montgomery, who is Black, said the school is committed to “addressing problems and to acknowledging where the institution has missed the mark in addressing those problems.”

You can read more here.

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