Letter to The Rhode Island College Community

Dear RIC Students and other members of the RIC Community,

Earlier this month, multiple copies of two hate-filled posters appeared on our campus, one targeting immigrants and another targeting LGBTQQ people. Faculty members condemn these ugly attacks on our community. We will do everything in our power to fight against this hate and to support you, our students and our colleagues. Hatred and prejudice should have no place at Rhode Island College or in education in general. We don’t want our students or colleagues to feel fear, which interferes with open expression of our full selves and therefore inhibits true learning.

We suspect that the timing of these hateful posters is not accidental, as it coincided with several college events focused on exactly the issues and the people these posters attack: the screening of The Miseducation of Cameron Post (a film that criticizes so-called “conversion therapy”); the “Resisting ICE and the Deportation Crisis” discussion; and the talk by Judy Shepard about the murder of her son, Matthew, in an anti-gay hate crime. Evidently, RIC’s clear commitment to an inclusive and welcoming campus environment has raised the anger of those who would prefer exclusion and marginalization for all those not exactly like them.

We pledge to step-up our fight, and will take concrete action in the next few weeks. We ask students and others in the RIC community to recommend specific actions that can help faculty demonstrate to all that hate is not welcome at Rhode Island College.

 In Solidarity,

The Rhode Island College Faculty, as represented by:

Vince Bohlinger, Chair of the Rhode Island College Council

Quenby Hughes, President of the RIC/AFT

Robyn Linde, Chair of the Human Rights Committee (RIC/AFT)

Maureen Reddy, Coordinator of First Year Seminars