Antisemitic and Racist Graffiti - a Message from Secretary and Vice President for University Life Kimberly Goff-Crews

October 11, 2021

On October 5, Chief Higgins alerted the community to acts of antisemitic and racist graffiti in the construction site for Kline Biology Tower.  President Salovey shared his outrage and reminded us that Yale stands up against acts of hate.  

I fully share in that outrage and am deeply concerned about the impacts of these hateful acts on Jewish and communities of color, including Jews of Color.  And my thoughts are with those who were directly exposed to such acts of hate.  I am grateful to our police department for their immediate and ongoing investigation and response. These acts remind us of the painful reality that racism and antisemitism continue to persist.

Like many others, I am personally and painfully aware of how acts of racism impact our campus community and beyond.  I have also spent time reading and thinking about the historical roots of antisemitism and contemporary examples of anti-Jewish bias, though I am particularly grateful for thoughtful conversations in the past few months with Slifka Center leaders, alumni, and friends outside the university.  These conversations, learning, and calls to action mirror the work taking place across the university and in our communities to eradicate racism. They are inextricably linked, not only because of the intersections between racial, ethnic, and religious biases, specifically for Jews of Color, but because acts of hate and bias taking place in our campus community are wrong, and must be named and addressed. 

I am committed to our continued forward progress in creating a culture of belonging at Yale, which includes but goes beyond condemning cowardly and hateful acts that impact faculty, students, staff and alumni as well as all who come to our campus. It also includes providing members of our community with resources and support.  All of us need to give continued attention to the evils of racism and antisemitism, and to learn and grow in our understanding of the impacts of such acts on our entire campus community.  I have previously shared resources on antiracism that you may wish to revisit.  Resources on antisemitism from the Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism may be helpful.  And if by chance, you wish to talk to a child about some of these issues, the ADL and others have excellent online resources for educators, parents, and families.

I know that many in our community are reaching out to show love and support for faculty, staff and students on campus who feel impacted by this incident and I strongly encourage you to continue to do so.  I also ask that you show support to those on the construction site, many of them people of color, who are revitalizing Kline Biology Tower for future research and education.

Kimberly M. Goff-Crews