As some of you may be aware, last week on Valentine’s Day, the portrait of Dr. Cornell A. Bell, noted African-American chemist, teacher, and long-time director of Purdue’s Business Opportunity Program, was defaced with hate speech. Tonight, Purdue is hosting an open forum for students to share their thoughts and feelings about the need for diversity and understanding on campus and to discuss possible solutions in light of this act (see flyer below for details).
I strongly encourage all of you to go. I will give extra credit to any student who attends and who turns in a one-page (double-spaced, typed) response to the discussion that takes place at the forum, due Monday. This forum relates to many of the discussions we’ve had this semester, including our debates surrounding the University of Wisconsin’s decision to alter a photo to show more diversity; and think back to “Preparing Minds for Markets” and the blog on microaggressions. As an event that deeply affects the Purdue student community, you should all be concerned with this act of defacement, but I hope you will also see it as an opportunity to be part of the solution.