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Indybay Feature
Tue Jun 3 2014 (Updated 06/04/14)
March and Prayer Vigil Held in Response to Racial Bullying at UCSC
UC Santa Cruz Students Fight Racial Harassment and Ongoing Threats on Campus
Recently, students at UC Santa Cruz reported to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) that two incidents of "serious racial bullying" had occurred on the university's campus. In response, the Santa Cruz Branch of the NAACP together with the UCSC Women's Center organized a "March and Prayer Vigil to Stop Hate Crimes and Racial Bullying in Our Community" on May 29. Community members, including students from UCSC, marched down Pacific Avenue and to the Town Clock where songs were sung and a prayer vigil was held.

Presently, the victims of the racial bullying wish to remain anonymous but Deborah Hill-Alston, the President of the Santa Cruz Branch of the NAACP, said the university is investigating the incidents and she is confident they will handle the matter properly. Hill-Alston did not want to go into the specifics, but she did say that the incidents were ongoing and had occurred recently. The incidents involved the use of improper language and threats which were made on campus to more than one student. According to the NAACP, incidents of racial misconduct are "constantly" taking place in the wider community as well as at local schools, from kindergarten to the university. "I want my kids to be educated in a safe environment," Hill-Alston told the group at the Town Clock.

"We need to hold our institutions accountable for setting systems in place that will change behavior, re-educate their members, and protect young people from the life-long scars of hate and prejudice. Please help us to focus on racism in our community and find peaceful solutions for the future," an announcement for the vigil stated.

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