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Our community is stronger than hate and discrimination


Campus Community Safety

UW SafeCampus
Serves members of the UW community on all campuses

Bias Reporting Tool

Washington State Human Rights Commission Complaint Form

Let’s Talk (Seattle campus)

Accessing mental health care (Seattle campus students)

Counseling services (UW Tacoma students)

Counseling services (UW Bothell students)

UW Employee Assistance Program(PEBB benefits eligible employees, their dependents and household members)

While conflict and discord seem like an inevitable part of the global political landscape, the current moment feels especially turbulent and agonizing. As a community of people who are deeply engaged in the world beyond our campuses, we are all touched by the events playing out on the world stage, particularly the deadly conflict in Gaza, including the suffering of Palestinian civilians and Israeli hostages. These tragic events have sparked intense debate and passionate activism within our community, a fitting response at an institution dedicated to holding space for diverse views, protecting free expression and fostering respectful dialogue that promotes understanding and empathy. I am so proud of the many members of our community who have raised their voices to share their grief, seek solutions and offer support.

I am also deeply pained by a number of troubling incidents of both Islamophobia and antisemitism that have occurred within our community in recent months. I want to unambiguously reaffirm that our University will not tolerate harassment or violence, and we will pursue every possible avenue to identify and hold accountable anyone guilty of committing these crimes against our students, faculty or staff.

I specifically want to address an anonymous hateful and racist letter that was sent to the Seattle campus Somali Student Association (SSA), as well as similar letters believed to be from the same sender, and to acknowledge the anger and pain caused by these despicable acts. I thank the staff of the Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center for swiftly connecting SSA members with UWPD to file a police report and with support resources, including counseling. UWPD is currently investigating these incidents and working with our law enforcement partners. The UW will do everything in our power to assist in this investigation, and I ask anyone with information about the source of the letters to please contact UWPD. This is reminiscent of the anonymous postings of hateful antisemitic symbols on campus bulletin boards earlier in the quarter. Such acts are not only harmful and hateful, but cowardly.

More broadly, our University is working to champion the values that have brought us all together in pursuit of knowledge, understanding and creating positive impact in the world. This includes the creation of the two task forces that I initiated December 2023 to better assess and address concerns about antisemitism and Islamophobia. Thank you to Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs Ed Taylor for co-chairing both groups. You can learn more about the task forces and find other resources on the Israel-Hamas war on our website.

Finally, I would ask that each of us consider what it means to be part of this community. The overwhelming majority of us don’t just reject the hateful ideology that would spur racist or discriminatory acts, but we actively embrace a pluralistic and inclusive environment in which all of us are welcomed for our faith, culture and identity. Together, we are so much stronger than the cowards and bigots who would seek to divide us.

If you see hateful graffiti, vandalism, flyers or posters, please report it (see the resources listed in the sidebar). If you see someone in the act of posting hateful material or engaging in vandalism on our campuses, call 911. And all of us can contribute to a safer, more welcoming and peaceful world by being there for each other, giving each other grace, and listening and sharing the many things that unite us as human beings.