Today, Walla Walla University administrators and officials met to discuss the ongoing investigation of reports that a small group of Walla Walla University students distributed photos of themselves in blackface on social media.
The university condemns racism and takes seriously its mission to value all people and to provide safety and security on our campuses. The university enforces policies and processes related to student conduct. This incident will be thoroughly investigated by the Student Conduct Board, which will determine appropriate sanctions.
In response to the hurt and anger felt by many in our campus communities and beyond, Walla Walla University has scheduled listening sessions to facilitate sharing of concerns about the incident, which will take place as soon as our students return from spring break on Monday, April 2. Additional campus resources, including counseling and spiritual support, are available. The Donald Blake Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture is also considering opportunities to engage and support students in conversation, and the university is planning other opportunities to educate and remind our campus community about our values and the impact of how we treat one another.
The Walla Walla University administration recognizes the imbalance of diversity on our campuses and for many years has worked carefully to promote diversity and inclusion. Our efforts have been facilitated through the WWU Office of Diversity, the assistant to the president for diversity, a Diversity Council, committees to promote events and activities related to diversity, employee and student clubs that celebrate diverse backgrounds, the Donald Blake Center, the Center for Educational Equity and Diversity, the Associated Students of Walla Walla University Inclusive Committee, and ministries to provide diverse worship experiences.
We recognize that this recent incident has the potential to undo our diligent work to promote diversity and inclusion, and we are determined to not let that happen.
Updates and further information are available at wallawalla.edu/diversity.
Posted March 27, 2018