Message on Rising Antisemitism
The impact of such incidents is especially harmful to our Jewish community members, who may also confront antisemitic statements across social media platforms and in everyday interactions. In addition to our Jewish community members, our university is at risk since as history has shown, when antisemitism rises, intellectual thought and freedom are stifled.
We are obligated as a campus community to model a different set of values by extending support and respect to all Jayhawks and disavowing all forms of hate speech when levied against members of our community on or off campus.
Through this collective statement, the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, University Governance, Jewish Studies Program, and the Jewish Faculty & Staff Council urge our campus community to stand against antisemitism and in support of our Jewish Jayhawks. As mandatory reporters, we are all called to report any experienced or witnessed discrimination or harassment. If you witness any acts of hatred or violence, report them immediately. Use your voice and the platforms available to you to show respect and support for all members of our community, inform yourself on identities outside your own, and help others expand their knowledge base as one way to combat prejudice.
By standing up to this form of bigotry, we embody our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging values as an intellectual community. Only by living these values in our daily interactions that a truly inclusive KU can be a lived reality for all.
General information on the history of antisemitism, bigotry, and the impact of hate speech on our community can be found in The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s lessons on antisemitism and racism. On campus, you will find learning opportunities about Jewish culture and history through the Jewish Studies Program and extracurricular opportunities through Chabad and Hillel. Our Jewish faculty and staff now have an additional opportunity to dialogue on identity-based issues through the new Jewish Faculty and Staff Council.
The Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Jewish Studies Program
Jewish Faculty & Staff Council
Notes on 12/8/22 Statement Amendment
DEIB worked with several partners (University Governance, the Jewish Studies Program, and Jewish Faculty Staff Council) to craft a message that addressed the many ways that antisemitism can appear. This includes anti-Zionistic rhetoric used as a tool to incite antisemitism.
Several days after the statement was released, DEIB received emails expressing concern about the use of the terminology “bad-faith anti-Zionism.” We take these concerns very seriously. After connecting with campus partners, we elected to remove the phrasing on December 8th due to its impact on multiple communities. University Governance also removed the phrase from its website.
We now understand that the original message was sent on a day of reverence. Our desire is to support all Jayhawks, and we apologize for any harm caused or inconsideration implied by this unfortunate timing.
The intention of all messaging from DEIB is aligned with equity and inclusion for all. Our goal is to ensure that our campus is welcoming and free from bullying, harassment, and intimidation, regardless of identity. We realize the impact of using this phrase, no matter the intent, caused harm. The Office of DEIB reminds the KU community that formal reporting through The Office of Civil Rights & Title IX can investigate incidents of discrimination and harassment.