Dear Rutgers University – Newark community members,

This afternoon, it was brought to our attention that there is a video circulating on social media in which a racial slur is very deliberately used by several college-age men and women, some of whom allegedly are students from our university. Immediately upon receiving this information, the Rutgers University – Newark Division of Student Affairs launched an investigation into potential violations of the university’s Code of Student Conduct.

We absolutely do not tolerate hate speech or hateful behavior in any form among our community members. They are the very antithesis of our shared identity and our shared values and we will employ our university’s policies to address any violations we find in this instance.

As a community, we have collectively articulated that we not only value our extraordinary diversity, but we are committed to leveraging it, to opening ourselves to, and learning from, one another across all dimensions of difference, so that each of us may emerge with a fuller understanding of ourselves and each other. We know that this is the path not only to creating a more just world, but to being able to grapple more effectively and innovatively with the complex challenges we face.

At this moment, let us draw inspiration from the advice of Dorothy Roberts, our brilliant former professor who addressed our graduating students and their families at commencement today. She urged that it is not enough to dream of a better world:

“You must imagine that world and then act as if it were possible to create it. And you can't do it alone. You have to work with others who share the same vision and commitment as you. Looking out at this group of graduates from this great university dedicated to social change, you inspire me to act as if the world I imagine can actually become a reality.”

As we continue to work together to strengthen the bonds among us in our beautifully diverse community and strive to create a world that is more just, more creative, and more loving, let us act as if it were possible and let us do everything we can to make it so.

In solidarity,

Nancy Cantor