You are here: Responding to Hate - May 2017

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On May 1st, 2017, American University was alerted to a racist incident that occurred in our community. Bananas hanging from string in the shape of nooses were found in three places on campus, and were marked with the letters AKA. While this incident targeted AU’s chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA), and occurred after the first black woman and AKA member was sworn in as the Student Government president—our entire university community has been adversely affected by this cowardly, despicable act.

We strongly condemn what happened; will do all that we can to find those responsible; and ask that anyone who may know of those involved to please step forward and contact Public Safety at 202-885-2527 or the AUPD Tips Site. This hate crime is under investigation by AU Campus Police with assistance from the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the FBI and other university senior officials. 

American University remains committed to principles of diversity, inclusion, common courtesy, and human dignity, and acts of bigotry only strengthen our resolve. Anyone who does not feel similarly does not belong here.

We will continue to alert the university community of the investigation’s findings and next steps and will respond as swiftly and strongly as possible.

AU Leadership Meeting with Student Government

American University leadership met with student government leaders immediately after the AUSG Town Hall meeting hosted by AUSG President Dumpson. The student and University leaders agreed to work together on creating a different approach to emerging challenges.

Pathways for Change

We are establishing an infrastructure to support, cultivate, and embrace diversity and foster inclusion.

Reporting Bias

For complaints against:

Looking forward

To make a lasting impact, we must continue to uphold our core values.

President's Charge February 29, 2016

To make lasting improvements in both the diversity and inclusiveness of our community, AU is committed to the following actions:

  • Establish a presidential council to oversee these plans, monitor institutional progress, recommend new objectives, and plan necessary resources
  • Introduce a mandatory course on diversity and inclusion for all first year and transfer students
  • Revise and elevate awareness of discrimination policies, channels for complaint, and avenues for support
  • Reallocate five tenure or tenure track positions to recruit diverse candidates to AU's faculty
  • Develop programs to cultivate inclusive classrooms, including an entry program for newly appointed tenure track faculty and dialogue sessions for current faculty