Racist messages in the community & on campus

President Stephens denounces racist messages sent to Black students, faculty and staff at UMass Amherst and Patriot Front stickers on the MHC campus.

September 30, 2021

Dear members of the Mount Holyoke community

It is deeply disheartening to learn once again of threats and vitriolic language targeting Black students, faculty and staff at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Our hearts are with their community as they work towards identifying the parties responsible for these terrible acts. We continue to send our expressions of solidarity and support. 

It has also come to our attention that, during the last week, several Mount Holyoke College community members have identified propaganda promoting an organization dubbed Patriot Front — one outdoors on the Mount Holyoke College campus and one nearby at the Village Commons. The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies this organization as “a white supremacist, nationalist hate group.” Mount Holyoke opposes Patriot Front’s racist and antisemitic rhetoric and removed the stickers immediately upon notification. We offer deep appreciation to the members of the community who immediately reported the issue to Public Safety & Service. The College is working with local law enforcement and other authorities. 

Mount Holyoke is relentless in the pursuit of becoming an anti-racist community, in working to dismantle systemic injustice and to advance equity on campus and in the world. In the face of white supremacist propaganda here and across the nation, many in our community, especially Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC)  and those from marginalized communities, are experiencing distress and anger, anxiety and exhaustion. We acknowledge your pain and we will continue to advocate for you and to support you. Students seeking support should visit the Counseling Service webpage for resources available to you. Staff and faculty can find information about available support in the Human Resources section of my.mtholyoke (login required).

Anyone who experiences a bias incident should use the Bias Reporting Form. The Offices of Community and Belonging and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are partnering to host support services for Black students with an in-person gathering space facilitated by Associate Dean for Community and Inclusion Latrina Denson and Vice President for Equity and Inclusion Kijua Sanders-McMurtry. In addition, all community members are invited to gather in a virtual healing space led by guest facilitator Tomiko Jenkins, LCSW. She will facilitate a second racial healing circle for all community members who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC).

We recognize that these incidents can activate all sorts of emotions and concerns, and encourage you to take full advantage of the support services mentioned above. 

In solidarity,