Gainesville, FL – The University of Florida’s Anthropology Department invited all the students in one specific course to a virtual townhall but didn’t invite the white students.
The event was held in November, according to a website called Young America’s Foundation.
Students enrolled in the course were sent an email to the townhall that was organized by two PhD students, according to Young America’s Foundation. The organization received a tip about the event. The email was addressed to BIPOC, which stands for black, indigenous, people of color.
The Daily Wire reported that the email stated, “We have some amazing graduate students in Anthropology that are holding a virtual Town Hall tomorrow, Nov 19 4:30 p.m. to discuss future directions and goals for a BIPOC Anthropology Group (open to non-anthro BIPOC majors and minors).”
The email then stated: “We kindly remind all that you respond to this space [sic] is only for those who identify as a BIPOC individuals in this department. While we appreciate white students may want to join to learn more about the BIPOC perspective, we ask they respect this space as a chance for BIPOC students to come together as BIPOC. We cannot hide our skin color, and for this reason we already navigate the University of Florida as BIPOC surrounded by a majority white student body and faculty body. We ask white students to respect that this is a space where BIPOC students can come together without the need to perform any emotional or mental labor to explain their experiences as BIPOC. Additionally, we acknowledge colorism exists within our own BIPOC communities and therefore we kindly ask all BIPOC students to be mindful that we will be a diverse group of BIPOC students, and it is expected we will respect differences in experiences due to colorism.”
The email ended with, “Don’t be shy if you are interested in attending but not an Anthropology major — they welcome all BIPOC students!”
The Daily Wire reported that the official UF Anthropology department account retweeted an ad for the event on Twitter.
A University of Florida spokesman responded to the event in an email to the Young America’s Foundation.
“The University and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences administrations recently learned of an event in the Department of Anthropology that may not have been open to students of all races and colors,” the statement said, according to the Young America’s Foundation. “Such an event is inconsistent with the University’s policies and values that foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment. The University is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the event and will take appropriate action.”