URI students want professor 'White-List,' threaten to sue if next president isn't Black

Students at the University of Rhode Island are making a “White-List” for professors who speak about diversity, yet fail to push the school into hiring a more diverse administration.

Students further threatened to file a class-action lawsuit if the school's next president is not African-American.

In their “Declaration of Diversity,” students at the University of Rhode Island announced they would create a professor “white-list.”

The school’s Diversity Think Tank created its Declaration of Diversity in the same phrasing and style as the United States Declaration of Independence. In late November, it published the document in a publication called Uprise RI.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that no university could possibly maintain an all-White senior leadership for 128 years without implicitly and deliberately colluding and conspiring to exclude African-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans from senior leadership positions,” said the declaration.

The “complaints and demands” section announces that the students will “create a White-List of all those white professors who define and list themselves as diversity initiative conveners, race experts and researchers” who also fail to support hiring a diverse senior leadership team.

“You white professors do not need research to find out about systemic racism at URI,” say the students, because they are “part and parcel of the creation and maintenance of systemic racism at URI through your self-serving policies, unapologetic excuses, discriminatory behavior and your hegemonic culture of impunity.”

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In addition to the “White-List,” the Diversity Think Tank called for mandatory classes on racism, diversity, and pluralism for first-year students. It also stated that the school’s students will launch a class-action lawsuit against the university if its next president is not an “African-American with an ancestry to slavery.”

Supporters of the initiative requested that classes on the “U.S. Constitution and Rights, Sociology and other classes should be listed with Africana Department codes and cross-listed to various departments (not the other way around).”

The students additionally pointed out that the school’s police force is “nearly all-White” and called upon the school to address it.

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The Diversity Think Tank “is a movement created to end white supremacy and demand change in the hiring of African Americans in all positions at the University of Rhode Island, specifically senior leadership positions who have not seen a single African American Leader in all 128 years of URI.” 

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Rhode Island for comment. 

Campus Reform also reached out to the Diversity Think Tank but did not receive a response.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft