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University of Michigan-Dearborn apologizes for segregated ‘digital cafes’ meant to spur dialogue about race

Grasso, referred to as the try “a mistake that was a significant misstep resulting in harm and pain.”

“These virtual cafes were intended to provide members of our campus community with opportunities to reflect on their lived experiences. However, the framing and presentation of the purpose and intended outcomes of these events were poorly conceived and executed,” the chancellor wrote in a letter.

One digital cafe was meant for folks of colour to assemble and talk about their experiences, whereas the opposite was meant for “non people of color.” The latter acquired backlash, as many criticized the thought of internet hosting an area for under White folks to debate race with out the presence of any folks of colour.

The digital cafes have been labeled as a fumbled try at racial reckoning. Following the shootings of many Black folks this yr, notably George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake, many have pursued methods to unearth systemic racism. But at the same time as these makes an attempt are made, it is clear that they do not at all times have the meant impact.

“Our community is hurting. Our opportunity to create meaningful and consequential conversation was lost,” the letter stated. “But we remain steadfast in our ability to listen and learn.”

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