Kent State takes action after ‘offensive and insulting’ message targeting Black community was painted on rock

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(FOX 8 photo)

KENT, Ohio (WJW) — Kent State University is taking action after an offensive message was painted on the KSU rock.

According to the university, the message was “offensive and insulting to many,” specifically the members of KSU’s Black community.

KSU’s anti-racism committee has been informed about the incident and will begin their work this term with a focus on anti-Black racism.

University officials say they remain focused on social justice and will continue to pay attention to the experience of their Black community.

KSU released the following statement Friday night regarding the incident:

Today, we became aware of a message painted on the KSU rock that was offensive and insulting to many, specifically to members of our Black community. Messages that are intended to be upsetting and hurtful are unconstructive and do not reflect our core values as a university.

This occurrence further illuminates why Kent State remains focused on social justice and will, in the coming year, pay particular attention to the lived experiences of members of our Black community. Recognizing that all forms of racism are connected and that anti-Blackness is the entrance point to examine the ways in which all systems of oppression are enacted, President Todd Diacon has formed an anti-racism committee whose work will begin with a focus on anti-Black racism. Future initiatives of the task force will explore other forms of racism. The committee will report on the challenges and barriers that students, faculty and staff have faced at the university, paying particular attention to anti-Black racism that has impeded the success of Black students, faculty and staff.

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