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UMass Amherst Reports 'Disturbing Increase' In Racist Incidents Against Black Students

The campus of UMass Amherst.
The Republican / masslive.com
The campus of UMass Amherst.

UMass Amherst officials said the university has experienced a jump in racist occurrences targeting African American and Black students.

The incidents started a few days before classes began. They include a person driving by a group of Black students and yelling a racist epithet.

Black student organizations also received emails which the university described as "vile, blatantly racist, and violently offensive." It's unclear whether they emanated from on campus.

Nefertiti Walker, vice chancellor for the university's Office of Equity and Inclusion, said UMass has mobilized to help students who have been impacted.

"It's been a collaborative effort across campus with deans and student affairs administrators, assistant deans, staff in all parts of campus, counseling services," Walker said Friday. "Everyone's jumping in to support the students."

Walker said the UMass Police are investigating. And the IT department is trying to figure out who sent the emails.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.
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