NIU officials discuss confronting racism


Patrick Murphy

Protesters line the sidewalks along Lincoln Highway in a peaceful protest for Black Lives Matter on Saturday, May 30th.

Ahyen Labanan, News Editor

DeKALB — President Lisa Freeman addressed the NIU community on confronting racism in an email sent to students Sunday. 

“I want the people of color in our community to know that NIU sees you and that NIU wants to be your community and a place where you have allies. NIU’s mission, vision and values are about equity, respect, building a better society, being accountable and being strengthened by diversity,” Freeman wrote in the email. 

NIU “does not stand alone in confronting racism,” Freeman wrote. 

DeKalb community members participated in a Black Lives Matter protest Saturday, organized by Vivian Meade,  in remembrance of the death of George Floyd who was in police custody May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Participants also gathered Monday at the DeKalb Police Station to continue protesting police brutality. 

NIU Chief of Police Thomas Phillips additionally discussed confronting racism through a statement issued Saturday. 

“As a career police professional, it was revolting to watch the officers’ encounter with Mr. Floyd and their hesitation to do the right thing when it mattered the most,” Phillips said in a Facebook post Saturday. 

Phillips’ full statement is available on the NIU Police and Public Safety Facebook page. 

NIU can contribute to change by coming together, Freeman wrote. 

“I call on each of us – administration, staff, faculty, student, alumni and neighbor – to reflect on what we value as Huskies, as human beings,” Freeman wrote. “This is a time to listen and learn, and a time to ask ourselves how we can contribute to positive change.”