On April 4, 2012, campus members assembled to mourn the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi. The vigil was disrupted by a white man wearing an empty gun holster. The next day, the Frank W. Hale, Jr. Black Cultural Center was defaced with the words “Long Live Zimmerman” (alluding to the man who killed Martin and who, at that time, had not yet been taken into custody). As a result of student-led organizing, rallies, and actions, President Gee commissioned the No Place for Hate Task Force.
Read the petition “Response to Frank Hale Black Cultural Center Vandalism at The Ohio State University.”
For additional context, see Haley Swenson’s “Taking on Hate at Ohio State” (April 9, 2012).
The Diversity and Identity Studies Collective at OSU (DISCO) issued the following statement:
The faculty, students, and staff affiliated with DISCO (the Diversity and Identity Studies Collective at OSU) strongly condemn the recent spraypaintings of the Frank W. Hale Jr. Black Cultural Center and of a nearby off-campus building. The messages and symbols desecrating these public spaces represent acts of racist intimidation and violence and recall historical acts of racial terror. As a collective committed to examining and challenging articulations of social power, hierarchy, and oppression through collaborative and cross-cultural efforts, DISCO firmly stands in solidarity with the OSU student activists and other campus protestors who are standing their ground and is among the organizations working to make the campus and Columbus communities more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive places.