Joseph Steinmetz, chancellor of the Fayetteville campus of the University of Arkansas, has distributed a letter in response to the Twitter comment thread @BlackAtUARK that details the experiences of black students and faculty at the UA flagship campus.
He urges people to read the comments. You can read the growing list of comments here.
They include this widely shared tweet:
#BlackatUark is when you get reported to your chair for focusing on Black people in your… Wait for it… INTRO TO AFRICAN AND AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES COURSE
— Caree Banton (@Diasporise) June 16, 2020
A lot of hurt, disappointment and frustration is being expressed here, and this is an important opportunity for change. Knowing about and acknowledging these experiences is a critical first step in developing foundations to prevent the continuation of racist activities and behaviors on our campus.
He outlined efforts to improve, including weekly meetings with black students and strategy sessions on building a “more inclusive” campus.
Black lives matter. Your voices matter and are being heard.