To members of the Rutgers Community,

We, the Cultural Center Collaborative, in addition to our student constituencies and campus partners, work to develop a culture of equity, access, care and understanding. We work to reduce bias, to build advocates, to educate those wishing to challenge prejudice, and to serve as a home away from home for those who are too often marginalized and underrepresented on college campuses across the country, and society at large.

February, in particular, is a time when our entire campus community comes together to remember, celebrate, and lift-up Black history and narratives. From recent activism, such as the efforts under the “Black Lives Matter” movement, to historical movement builders such as Paul Robeson, Audre Lorde, Ella Baker, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Bayard Rustin, and Marsha P. Johnson, it is important to learn from those who have worked tirelessly to create change in this world. Tonight at 7:30 PM, the Paul Robeson Cultural Center will be hosting the mayor of Newark, Ras Baraka, and Rutgers alum, activist, and scholar Sister Souljah. We encourage you to attend this extraordinary program, and to work everyday to listen and learn from one another. Please also join us for the many critical and enriching programs still to come.

It has come to our attention that there is a student-run program and speaker tonight whose messages many may find do not align with our core values of diversity, inclusion, and social justice.  You have options. You can attend, not attend, participate in student-led protest, engage in the Q&A, hold a counter program, or boycott. Please note that if you chose to attend, you do have to register for the event, and abide by the Q&A ground rules established by the student organization. No signs will be allowed in the program, and student organizers have asked that those protesting wear all black.  An alternative, student-run, discussion will also be held at the Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities following the event at 10:15 PM (17 Bartlett Street).

We simply want to take this time to remind everyone that beneath shock-value rhetoric, basic respect, compassion, and human dignity will forever be at the core of any socially-just society. You have the power to make this world a better place for generations to come, and together we will continue to create change.
In solidarity,

The Cultural Center Collaborative at Rutgers University – New Brunswick

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