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Events mark International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

March 19, 2018

The University’s anti-racism committee will sponsor two events on Wednesday, March 21, the annual International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Take the pledge

The We’re Better Than That committee will commemorate the day by asking members of the University community to take a pledge to be an “anti-racism warrior” via a digital platform (using their laptop, computer, or smartphone) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The names of those who take the pledge will be displayed in real time on the giant screen in the Rettner Hall atrium.

The pledge reads: “I pledge to be an anti-racism warrior by 1. becoming aware, 2. challenging myself, 3. spreading the word, and 4. taking action. The digital platform also will allow members of the University community to ask any questions of the committee, which will be answered on the We’re Better Than That Facebook page.

The committee was formed in December 2015 as part of the University’s larger initiative to address issues of race and diversity. Its comprised of administrators, students, and staff, and its mission statement is: “Racism and hate speech have no place at the University of Rochester. We aspire to be a community whose members are equally valued and respected.”

“Taking the pledge is one way for members of our University community not to remain silent or complacent in efforts to combat racism and hate speech, whether overt or complicit,” says Norman Burnett, co-chair of the committee, assistant dean, and director of the Office of Minority Student Affairs. “The four items listed as part of the pledge are intended to be action oriented and used to commit personal time and resources toward the advancement of racial justice, while doing the difficult work of becoming a culturally competent individual.”

“How does racism affect you?”

Wednesday evening from 6:30 to 8, the student organization UR United World will hold a discussion in Genesee Hall 325, asking the question, “How does racism affect you?” A student panel will discuss the topic, with Jessica Guzman-Rea, director of the Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center and We’re Better Than That committee member, serving as moderator along with student committee member Meredith Crenca ’19. The students then will break into smaller discussion groups. Students who join the talk will receive free We’re Better Than That T-shirts.

Departments across the University are encouraged to wear their shirts on Wednesday as a show of solidarity against racism. Group photos can be sent to the We’re Better Than That Facebook page.



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Category: Student Life

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