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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, November 29, 2023

BREAKING: Racist incident occurs at diversity, equity and inclusion event

Jumbo Statue is pictured on April 12, 2017.

This is a developing story. The Daily will provide updates when more information is available. 

University President Anthony Monaco shared the news of a racist incident in an email to the Tufts community on Saturday evening. 

Karl Reid, executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers, was delivering a presentation on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the field of engineering as part of the School of Engineering’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Colloquium Series on Friday afternoon. 

“During his presentation, someone gained control of the screen and scrawled a racist term across his slides,” Monaco wrote in the email.

Reid shut off his screen share and continued with his presentation.

Monaco reported that he and Dean Jianmin Qu of the School of Engineering shared their personal apologies with Reid after the event. In the email, Monaco also apologized to those in attendance who witnessed the incident.

According to the email, the Tufts University Police Department has launched an investigation and will review all available data with the goal of determining who is responsible. Since the event was open to the university community and the public, it is unclear at this moment whether the culprit is connected to the university.

Monaco promised that if the perpetrator is identified, the university will take action.

“We will impose the severest penalties available to us as a university and pursue all avenues available to us under the law,” Monaco said.

There will also be acommunity meeting on Monday for “healing, reflection, and action,” the email said.

Monaco reiterated the university’s commitment to being an anti-racist institution.

“We must stand together at difficult times like these to continue our fight to eradicate racism from our community and never stop working to make our university a more just and equitable place tomorrow than it is today,” Monaco said.