By Donovan Levine
In the wake of 2020’s unexpected boom in social activism that spans from Hong Kong’s protests to the Minneapolis’s riots to Belarus’s inspiring political movement, even the quaint little community of Kutztown has taken a stand on the social issues in the country.
KU’s President Hawkinson and Vice President Hilton put out a statement on Aug. 26 regarding Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old African American who was shot and paralyzed by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He was the latest victim of an ongoing plight the black community in the US has faced, even decades after the Civil Rights movement.
KU’s statement reinforced that the university “rejects all forms of racism, sexism, bigotry, brutality and discrimination.”
KU also announced these issues will be further addressed on Unity Day, a virtual event the university will hold on Sept. 10. The Multicultural Center will also focus largely on these issues during its weekly Tuesday chat on Sept. 1 which will be held on Zoom and open to the public.
This is not the first time Kutztown has addressed racial issues this year. A solidarity march was held on June 7, during the aftermath of a string of protests held across the nation by the Black Lives Matter social justice movement. Several speakers including the Dean of Students gathered on Main St. and addressed hundreds of students to spread awareness.
KU also listed over 100 action items – 105 to be exact – this past summer related to diversity, equity and inclusion, many of which involved increased funding to the Multicultural Center as well as reviewing diversity training at all on-campus working organizations and clubs.
They’ve also scheduled an array of different public speakers and diversity leaders who will speak at social justice panels throughout the fall and spring semesters, many of which will collaborate with the Dean of Students and the Multicultural Center.