Wake Forest University is hosting a series of "listening sessions" for faculty and staff of color after growing racial tensions based on accusations that the school has supported "white supremacy."
Aimed to increase inclusion, Michele Gillespie, dean of the college, has enacted multiple sessions this week for university staff and faculty of color to share their complaints. The College Fix reports the email invitations look like this: "For staff who identify as staff of color ONLY: Monday, May 6 at 4:00 pm in ZSR Room 477"
The private North Carolina institution has seen growth in racial tensions recently as certain on-campus activist groups have continually demanded apologies, accusing school officials of a "history of racism."
Yesterday @wfuarc offered @PresidentHatch, Martha Allman, & Kevin Pittard the opportunity to come publicly apologize for the roles they've played in perpetuating WFU's white supremacy. Of the three, Pres. Hatch was the only one to come, but he still refused to address the crowd. pic.twitter.com/fdfAtbjQqB
— Wake Forest YDSA (@wfuydsa) April 23, 2019
The College Fix reports the organizations have used previous situations such as a racist Instagram post from a fake WFU account and decades old blackface yearbook photos to support their claims.
The organizations have also criticized the university for allowing two WFU administrators to keep their jobs after a photo of surfaced of them posing in front of a Confederate flag in the 1980s.
The Winston-Salem Journal reported that "a coalition of students, faculty and staff at Wake Forest University demanded Monday that university officials immediately begin a zero-tolerance policy for white supremacy after several developments in recent months heightened concerns about racism on campus."
"Today, ARC and @out_winston stood in solidarity against how @WakeForest embodies, emboldens, and perpetuates white supremacy," tweeted the Wake Forest University Anti-Racism Coalition. "This goes far beyond our campus walls. #WhiteForest1834 #OnOurTerms #OurC2C"
Today, 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 pic.twitter.com/4fmWQgknSD
— Wake Forest University Anti-Racism Coalition (@wfuarc) April 23, 2019
In an interview with The College Fix, one professor, who requested anonymity, stated, "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 whether it is worth responding to people who use such hyperbolic and hysterical rhetoric," they added. "Though the more you placate them, the more they escalate their rhetoric and demands."
Last month, the school's president Hatch granted numerous demands such as giving the Black Student Alliance control of a popular campus lounge.