Wake Forest University: for staff who identify as staff of color ONLY: Monday, May 6 at 4:00 pm in ZSR Room 477

Michele Gillespie, Dean of the College, Wake Forest University …

The sad part of this is the continued insistence by all parties that race is real.  Race bigotry is real but “people of color” is as much a pejorative as the N word.  I do not doubt the good intentions of the Wake Forest administration but it is horrid that fifty-seven years after the Wake Forest University admitted its first black student, the University is hosting segregated meetings for faculty and “staff of color” in response to student-led protests of WFU’s heritage of racism.

The meeting was announced by Michele Gillespie, dean of the college, in an email “Dear faculty and staff colleagues, this is a reminder about our upcoming listening sessions on inclusion that I am holding for faculty and staff of color over the next several weeks.

–For faculty/staff who identify as faculty/staff of color: Monday, April 22 at 4:00 pm in ZSR Room 476 (we will be joined by Associate Dean Erica Still)

–For faculty/staff who identify as faculty/staff of color: Thursday, May 2 at 11:00 am in ZSR 476 (we will be joined by Associate Dean Erica Still)

–For staff who identify as staff of color ONLY: Monday, May 6 at 4:00 pm in ZSR Room 477

Please know that I have requested that all department chairs provide staff release time to be able to attend a listening session.”


Associate Dean Erica Still

The segregated meeting is WFU’s response to a campus protest.  A coalition of students, faculty and staff at Wake Forest University demanded that university officials immediately begin a zero-tolerance policy for white supremacy. The Wake Forest University Anti-Racism Coalition tweeted:

“ARC and @out_winston stood in solidarity against how @WakeForest embodies, emboldens, and perpetuates white supremacy. This goes far beyond our campus walls. #WhiteForest1834 #OnOurTerms #OurC2C”

The protest was in response to a “racist Instagram post” that quipped about building a wall between Wake Forest and its crosstown rival, Winston Salem University.  WSU is a  black university. Other issues included an old Wake Forest  yearbook with blackface photos, and a photo of Wake Forest students posing in front of a Confederate flag in the 1980s.  Two of these students are now WFU administrators.  Perhaps worthy of Saturday Night Live, the protesters were also uopset about a

The Wake Forest University Anti-Racism Coalition refuses to accept that the “build a wall” post was simply a parody in poor judgment, and have maintained it’s an acute example of racism and white supremacy at the school.

According to The College Fix, a right wing student site, the Instagram post was intended as a joke.  A white female student who told the protesters to relax and take a joke received death threats. WFU efforts to launch an investigation into the post have not quieted the protest.

The  @wfuarc a;sp offered @PresidentHatch, Martha Allman, & Kevin Pittard the opportunity to come to there meeting and publicly apologize.  Pres. Hatch came but still refused to address the crowd.

— Wake Forest YDSA 🎩🌹 (@wfuydsa) April 23, 2019

The coalition contends black students at Wake Forest “are facing the same problems encountered by

One anonymous WFU professor emailed, “It’s hard to respond to the ridiculous accusation that Wake Forest tolerates or encourages ‘white supremacy’ and inflicts ‘trauma on students of color. I question wheth

A month prior to the protest, President Nathan Hatch capitulated to numerous demands regarding the university’s racial unrest, including granting the Black Student Alliance control of an exclusive and highly sought after campus lounge space.  During the protest, anti-racism coalition members invited WFU President Nathan Hatch and other campus leaders to “publicly apologize for the roles they’ve played in perpetuating WFU’s white supremacy,” according to a tweet from participants. Hatch, who attended the protest, declined their invitation to tell the crowd he’s sorry.

er it is worth responding to people who use such hyperbolic and hysterical rhetoric. Though the more you placate them, the more they escalate their rhetoric and demands.”

The Wake Forest University News reported that “President Nathan O. Hatch was disheartened and disturbed to learn that old issues of The Howler include lynching references, racial slurs, Confederate symbols and photos of students wearing blackface.

“Wearing blackface is racist and offensive – then and now,” Hatch said. “The behavior in these images does not represent the inclusive University we aspire to be.

“As an academic institution dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and the motto of Pro Humanitate, we continue to explore and improve how to reconcile our complex history with the progress we’ve made and the sense of belonging we want everyone in our community to feel,” Hatch said.”

Is Kamilla Harris a POC by WFU definition?

Good words from a man who probably d9oes care.  Yet how can there be an end to racism when “people of color” are invited to segregated meetings?  I wonder whether WF  had to have specially trained campus police to determine who was and was not a POC?

There has to be a better way.



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