Pace announces “Not On Our Watch” to intensify anti-hatred values

Pace University President David A. Caputo today announced a new initiative, “Not On Our Watch,” to intensify the University’s extensive efforts to combat intolerance and hatred and promote understanding and acceptance of diverse groups.

Contact: Christopher Cory, Executive Director of Public Information
917-608-8164 (cell), ccory@pace.edu (email via blackberry)

Pace University statement announcing
“Not on Our Watch” anti-hate campaign

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Pace University President David A. Caputo today announced a new initiative, “Not On Our Watch,” to intensify the University’s extensive efforts to combat intolerance and hatred and promote understanding and acceptance of diverse groups. He said:

“Since several recent hate crime incidents, Pace University has aggressively reached out to our many student organizations and campus councils that are concerned with promoting acceptance and combating intolerance. All of them are responding with deep concern and constructive suggestions.

“We also have contacted outside organizations, and I welcome the offers of cooperation we have received from the New York office of the Council on American Islamic Relations, the Anti Defamation League, and the US Department of Justice.

“The hateful acts against our community are rare in the history of this university, but they are intolerable acts against individuals and groups of individuals who are valued, respected and welcome members of our university community, and they are attacks against the very foundation of the University itself.

“I have asked all faculty and staff members and students to unequivocally condemn these actions and reach out to all members of our community with understanding, acceptance and compassion.

“I also announced a fresh anti-hate effort, building on our long tradition of campus activities against intolerance and for understanding and acceptance. This is being led by our Affirmative Action Officer, Lisa Miles JD. Since Monday this team has requested or held consultations and meetings with
• The New York office of the Council on American Islamic Relations
• the Anti Defamation League
• the US Department of Justice
• The Pace University President’s Commission on Diversity
• Pace Faculty Councils Downtown and in Westchester
• Administrative Councils (staff councils) Downtown and in Westchester
• Student clubs concerned with multiculturalism, gender and sexual orientation
• Separate meeting with Muslim Students Association
• Meeting of Downtown Campus student government and student club officers (Westchester Campus leaders meeting scheduled for Friday, 10/20)
• Pace Coalition for Diversity (15-year old Downtown Campus group)
• Pace Westchester Diversity Team (Westchester equivalent of Coalition for Diversity)

“Not on Our Watch”

“Based on the input so far, this team has approved plans for an intensified program to be called ‘Not on Our Watch.’ It includes
• Sensitivity training for students and the President’s Council of senior university administrators (planning and execution will involve CAIR, the Pace Muslim Students Association and many other the diversity groups on our campuses)
• First-responder training on proper protocols for incidents of bias by the Regional Director of Community Relations Services for the US Department of Justice (Reinaldo Rivera) for security officers and a broader team that will respond to bias incidents.
• Public forums on our New York City and Westchester campuses with panelists, Q&A, and open mikes, probably during week of Nov 6th.
• Distribution of a wallet card listing phone numbers for the University Safety and Security Department, Deans for Students, Residential Life, Counseling center, Health care center, Affirmative Action Office and Ombuds Office. This responds to input from students who said they weren’t sure who to call in emergencies.

“This was a surprise to us because incidents of intolerance are extremely rare here. But it indicates a set of issues we have to deal with and gives us a moment to act when we have people’s attention. Longer range programming is also being planned. — we are intensifying an ongoing, sustained effort.

“Pace does not pretend intolerance doesn’t exist. We are facing these incidents with the utmost concern, squarely and in public.

“Our tradition is to support students who are affected by intolerance, giving them systems for figuring out what they want to do about it and nurturing them through the process. These range from individual counseling to mentoring student groups to faculty encouragement to study social issues.

“When an internal survey in 2003-2004 asked students to say if they agreed or disagreed with the statement “I feel I need to hide some characteristics of my racial and ethnic culture in order to fit in at Pace,” only 11 percent of both undergraduate and graduate students agreed.

“Pace deplores as hateful incidents of bias of whatever kind. Bias is not only an attack on people, but on the fundamental nature of a University and people’s ability to learn from one another.

“While the investigation continues, and afterward, we welcome information and constructive ideas.

“Anyone with information that might be relevant to the investigation of these incidents should call the NYPD Hate Crimes unit

“Suggestions about anti-bias activities should go to Lisa Miles, e-mail lmiles@pace.edu or call 212-346-1310.”

Facts about Pace University anti-bias activities:

Pace is actively involved in the fight against hatred and intolerance, and in promoting understanding and acceptance. Our current efforts build on a long and deep tradition of community service and multicultural awareness programs. These are scheduled year after year by both the University and student groups, and many of this year’s events were scheduled well before these incidents.

In any given year our student organizations are likely to include those formed by students whose backgrounds reflect many ethnicities as well as organizations for women and students who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, InterQueer and Questioning.

During the University’s Centennial in calendar 2006 the Centennial Committee alone presented or co-sponsored Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland/Baltimore County, on attracting minority group members to higher education and science; a two-day symposium on the legacies of slavery and feminism in the works of fugitive slave Harriet Jacobs ( author of “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself”); Maya Angelou; and a multinational colloquium of law professors from 44 first, second and third-world countries on enforcing global environmental laws.

Other current and past programs include forums on Palestine and Zionism, AIDS, American Indians, Hispanic multilingual cartoons, and SAFEZONE training to increase tolerance for different sexual orientations.

Community service is now a required component of the core curriculum.

The University is a founder of Project Pericles, a coalition of colleges explicitly committed to encouraging lifelong engagement by citizens in democratic processes.

Correction

The times for the two hour teach-ins in the release about Pace University’s on-campus campaign against hate, sent earlier today, are incorrect.

The times for the two hour teach-ins in the release about Pace University’s on-campus campaign against hate, sent earlier today, are incorrect.

The teach-in on the Westchester campus in Pleasantville on Tuesday, November 28 is from 1 to 3 PM.

The teach-in on the downtown New York City campus on Thursday, November 30, is from 3 to 5 pm.

On-Campus Campaign Against Hate, Promoting Respect and Understanding

In the wake of incidents in which two copies of the Qur’an were found in toilets and other racial and ethnic slurs were found on its campuses, Pace University today announced the start of a campaign to intensify its traditional acceptance of all groups on camps regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender orientation.

Contact
Christopher T. Cory, Executive Director, Public Information, Pace University
212-346-1117, ccory@pace.edu, cell 917-608-8164

Note: Most sessions are open to media with press credentials. Please contact the Public Information office for details.

PACE UNIVERSITY ANNOUNCES ON-CAMPUS CAMPAIGN
AGAINST HATE, PROMOTING RESPECT AND UNDERSTANDING

“Not on My Watch” goal is to “encourage all of us to take responsibility,”
says President David A. Caputo

New York, NY and Pleasantville, NY, November 14, 2006 – In the wake of incidents in which two copies of the Qur’an were found in toilets and other racial and ethnic slurs were found on its campuses, Pace University today announced the start of a campaign to intensify its traditional acceptance of all groups on camps regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender orientation.

The incidents are under police investigation as hate crimes. President David A. Caputo, called the campaign “comprehensive and pro-active.”

The effort is known as “Not on My Watch.” Caputo said the name stresses the need for active cooperation from each member of the community, in actions ranging from understanding others to reporting incidents. “The goal is to encourage all of us to take responsibility,” he said.

In its first few weeks, “Not on My Watch” will comprise
• A three- hour panel discussion on sacred texts in all religions, including the Bible and the Qur’an, on November 20 in Lecture Hall North, One Pace Plaza, from 6 to 9 p.m. Taught by faculty members in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, the discussion will explore: What is a sacred text?; How does reading a sacred text differ from reading a secular text?; What – if any – responsibilities do we have to texts that other people hold sacred?; Is it possible to desecrate a sacred text?

• Two hour teach-ins on the Westchester campus in Pleasantville Tuesday, November 28, from 1 to 3 pm, and on the downtown New York City campus Thursday, November 30, from 3 to 5 pm. A faculty panel will discuss the meaning of hate crimes and the impact that they have on the community. In addition, the sessions will provide an open forum for dialogue about the recent incidents and an opportunity for questions about different cultures, groups, or practices. Information on Islam has been developed in consultation with the Conference on American Islamic Relations.

• “Campus of Difference,” a program developed and facilitated by the Anti Defamation League, offered over the next few weeks to Resident Assistants and student leaders.

• “Faculty tip sheets” developed by the University’s counseling department for faculty members willing to lead class discussions.

• Circulation of a resolution condemning hate and intolerance passed by the Student Government Association on the Downtown Manhattan campus.

• Distribution of a wallet card listing emergency phone numbers for the University Safety and Security Department, Deans for Students, Residential Life, Counseling center, Health care center, Affirmative Action Office and Ombuds Office. This responds to input from students who said they weren’t sure who to call.

• A training initiative that started at the top November 8 with a 90-minute cultural awareness workshop for the 30 members of the President’s Council (senior administrators and deans of students and of the University’s six schools). Conducted by the regional director of the US Justice Department’s Community Relations Service, it explored the roots of disrespect, its painful impact, and protocols for reinforcing tolerance and acceptance and dealing with specific incidents.

• Training sessions for first responders including the campus security staff, to update them on procedures for dealing with victims and collecting evidence.

Longer-term activities are under development as well. A team of faculty and staff members working on internationalizing the curriculum as an “Internationalization Laboratory” of the American Council on Education this week agreed to explore new curriculum units on religious, racial, ethnic, gender, class, and geo-political differences. The goal, as one member put it: “to lead our students to new levels of respect and understanding.”

Reinforcing norms. The effort was developed under the leadership of Lisa Miles JD, the University’s Affirmative Action Officer.

On campus surveys show acceptance of others is a widespread norm at Pace. When an internal survey in 2003-2004 asked students to say if they agreed or disagreed that “I feel I need to hide some characteristics of my racial and ethnic culture in order to fit in at Pace,” only 10 percent of both undergraduate and graduate students agreed.

More recently, the National Survey of Student Engagement found Pace students above national norms in reporting that they have serious conversations with fellow students of a different race or ethnicity.

In planning “Not on My Watch,” Miles has sought buy-in from a broad range of campus organizations including the Pace University President’s Commission on Diversity; faculty councils in Downtown New York City and Westchester; councils of administrators and staff members; the Pace Coalition for Diversity, a 15-year old organization on the Downtown campus, and its Westchester equivalent, the Pace Westchester Diversity Team; student clubs concerned with multiculturalism, gender and sexual orientation including the Muslim Students Association, and the officers of other student clubs and the student governments.

“Pace does not pretend intolerance doesn’t exist,” said Miles. “It has not attempted to cover up these incidents and has faced them with the utmost concern, starting with the President’s messages to everyone on campus.”

Supporting students. She added that Pace’s practice is to support students who are affected by intolerance, giving them systems for figuring out what they want to do about it and nurturing them through the process. These range from individual counseling to mentoring student advocacy groups to faculty encouragement to study social issues.

“Not on My Watch” builds on pluralism at Pace that stretches back to its founding 100 years ago when it welcomed women to classes in accounting, then an all-male field. The University’s 13,500 students are 40% Caucasian, 8% Hispanic, 8% Asian/Pacific Islander, 9% African American, 6% International and 29% other/unidentified.

Recently-Escaped Slave to Join Presentation on Persistence of Racial Problems

This Roundtable discussion will link contemporary global issues of race and gender to the history of slavery.

MEDIA ALERT
Contacts: Christopher T. Cory, 212-346-1117, Cell 917-608-8164, ccory@pace.edu
Frank Lentini, 212-481-7000 ext. 3223, frankl@mbooth.com

RECENTLY-ESCAPED SUDANESE SLAVE,
FORMER GORE-LIEBERMAN CAMPAIGN MANAGER
TO PROVIDE FRESH IDEAS ON PERSISTENCE OF RACIAL PROBLEMS
FRIDAY AT 1:00 PM

Thought leaders debate the “centrality of slavery” in contemporary issues of race and gender
Who:
• Mende Nazer, Nubian who was sold into slavery in Khartoum at age 12 and who made a break for freedom in London, later writing her recent memoir, “Slave.”
• Donna Brazile, leading political strategist whose ideas currently help shape the Democratic platform on race and who was the first African American woman to run a national election campaign (Gore-Lieberman 2000).
• Michel Martin, Emmy-winning former ABC Nightline correspondent and Wall Street Journal reporter who will host a public affairs and cultural program soon slated to launch on National Public Radio.
• Leon Wynter, author and journalist who created and wrote a Business & Race column for The Wall Street Journal and has written for The Washington Post, National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and Marketplace.

What:
Roundtable discussion linking contemporary global issues of race and gender to the history of slavery. Will address such questions as:
• How can slavery be making comebacks in some societies well over 100 years after its official abolition in the western world?
• What is the equivalent of “whiteness” in one of those societies, the Sudan?
• Why don’t whites and blacks see their differing social circumstances more clearly?
• Since slaves are “made,” can they slaves be “unmade?”

Where & When:
Friday, October 6th, 2006
1:00pm – 2:45pm
Pace University Downtown Campus
Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, 1 Pace Plaza (3 Spruce St. between Park Row and Gold St., just east of City Hall)

Participants are available for interviews. The discussion is part of a two-day national conference on the writings and life of Harriet Jacobs, the increasingly well known author who is the only African-American woman held in slavery whose papers are known to exist. For the complete conference schedule please visit www.pace.edu/dyson/HarrietJacobsConf/