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La Casa to hold town hall meeting in response to racially motivated harassment at the center
When: Wednesday, September 7, 2011, at 6:30 p.m.
Members of La Casa, Indiana University's Latino Cultural Center, are organizing a town hall meeting in response to a recent act of racially motivated harassment at the center.
A La Casa staff member discovered a newspaper with "criminals deport" written next to a picture of a Latino McDonald's employee. Magnetic letters on a refrigerator had also been arranged to spell, "You need to leave," according to Lillian Casillas, director of La Casa.
A town hall meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 7, 2011, at La Casa to discuss this incident and broader issues of race and racism. "This is still our home; this is still a safe place. And, we need to educate people about these things," Casillas said in a phone interview.
The incident was reported to campus police at 5:01 p.m. Friday, August 26, according to police logs, and listed as a harassment and intimidation offense. But, it could have happened between 12 noon Wednesday, August 24, and 9 a.m. Friday, August 26, of last week.
While acts of discrimination have been discovered in the past, the fact that it happened inside of the culture center have left people a little more upset, she said. Anyone could have simply walked into the house.
"It's still something that's very hurtful and hateful," Casillas said. "It's discrimination. It's racist."
Last week, members of La Casa participated in a bevy of activities before the official start of the new school year, including CultureFest, to introduce new and returning students to the center's resources and services. La Casa also hosted tours and welcomed numerous walk-in inquiries.
Campus police are conducting extra patrols in the area.
Revised: September 1, 2011
Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs