FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 22, 2019
Washington, DC – According to government data, hate crimes on college campuses have increased 25% from 2015 – 2016. Hate groups have taken to recruiting members on college campuses – spreading messages of hate intended to provoke fear and division. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Fund for Leadership, Equity, Access and Diversity (LEAD) Fund partnered to conduct a study to better understand what is unfolding on college and university campuses. Through a survey of higher education equal opportunity professionals, and listening sessions on college campuses, this study has gained insight into the prevalence of hate and bias incidents on campus.
Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law: “Institutions of higher education provide critical opportunities for the free exchange of ideas – yet as we saw in Charlottesville in 2017, college campuses have also become a place where white supremacists seek to recruit new members and organize. Hate crimes across the country have increased – including on college campuses. These incidents, particularly when left unaddressed, can lead to hostile educational environments. We were pleased to partner with the LEAD Fund to conduct this study on hate and bias on college campuses. We hope Administrators use the information provided in these reports to address the challenges presented by hate and bias incidents on campus.”
Dr. Richard A. Baker M.P.A., J.D., PhD., President, American Association for Access Equity and Diversity (AAAED)Assistant Vice Chancellor and Vice President for Equal Opportunity Services for the University of Houston System and University of Houston: “Equal opportunity professionals who were surveyed are part of the front line in facing the challenges of hate and bias on college campuses. They confirmed what we knew: as in the general population, there are acts of hate and bias in the academy. Our EO professionals also shared some insights on how to employ the principles of diversity and inclusion to confront these acts.”
Shirley J. Wilcher, MA, JD, CAAP Executive Director, American Association for Access Equity and Diversity (AAAED); Fund for Leadership, Equity, Access and Diversity (LEAD Fund): “We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the Lawyers’ Committee in investigating the issue of hate and bias on college campuses. I hope the collegiate community will use our toolkit, survey and report to confront this divisive trend that threatens the safety and the learning experience that all of our students — our future leaders – richly deserve.”
Ifeoma Ike, Think Rubix: “Charlottesville was a national wake-up call; it made visible how real hate is on our college campuses and it also redefined “safety.” Our year-long partnership with the Lawyers’ Committee has focused on how we support young leaders, college administrators and communities through a multi-purposed strategy called Tolerance Talks. We are excited to connect with institutions to create brave spaces of truth, reconciliation and security that position each of us as a crucial part of ensuring safety and humanity is a priority for all.”
The full report can be viewed here.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 56th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest to “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights.
Derrick Robinson, Lawyers’ Committee, DRobinson@LawyersCommittee.org, 202-662-8317