Equity commissions, Paul Robeson Cultural Center send message of unity

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity (CORED), with the co-sponsorship of the Paul Robeson Cultural Center and the two other President’s Commissions for Equity, the Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Equity (CLGBTQE) and the Commission for Women (CFW), created a poster in support of unity across Penn State. The unity poster was produced in response to an incident where unknown parties at University Park placed anti-immigrant signs over those of a student organization, Writers Organized to Represent Diverse Stories (WORDS).

“We created this poster to counteract a message of anger, fear and hate that so many of us at the University find deeply offensive,” said Laureen Teti, CORED co-chair. “So we countered it with a message of unity, that every single student, faculty, and staff member deserves to be here based on qualifications and hard work.”

The poster includes a clear statement, “Our differences make us stronger, WE ARE UNIFIED at Penn State.” It is designed to show support for all at Penn State. The posters are currently being hung around Penn State, including the campuses.

The unity poster idea evolved from a CORED meeting discussion on how to address postings that CORED deems to be “hate posters.” In accordance with routine practice, bulletin boards intended for use only by University organizations are allowed to remove the anti-immigrant posters, which are not the product of any University-sponsored organization; yet, those on public boards, even if not supported by a University-affiliated organization, are to be left alone. According to a University statement, "As an institution of higher education, Penn State fully supports the right of free speech and encourages its expression in thoughtful and respectful ways, even when we strongly disagree with the opinions expressed.”

“It’s very much a privilege to work with students, staff and scholars from around the world, and CORED’s mission is to build diversity and create a climate of inclusion for everyone, no matter where you’re from,” Niharika Sharma, CORED co-chair, said. “This poster is an expression of this dedication to building a welcoming, safe, and supportive learning environment for all here at Penn State.”

For more information on CORED, visit equity.psu.edu/cored.

Last Updated May 05, 2017