Community members gathered at the Latino Culture Center Wednesday evening in response to a newspaper that had the words ‘criminals deport’ written on it and magnetic letters on the refrigerator arranged to read ‘you need to leave’.
A town hall meeting held at La Casa brought IU staff and community members together after the center was targeted from acts of racial harassment. IU La Casa Director Lillian Casillas says she can’t believe this happened.
“I am upset because they came into our home, and they did something that was not right, and in a way thank you because you brought us together,” she said.
“The place I call my home away from home has been vandalized,” said IU Junior Omar Gama.
Mayor Mark Kruzan and other members say that the community at large is a whole and these behaviors have repercussions—and won’t be tolerated.
Safe and Civil City Director Beverly Calender-Anderson says the community needed to come together in solidarity.
“I think it’s important for the city to stand in solidarity with La Casa and the students who were affected by the vicious acts of racism,” she said.
“We want to make a clear positive stance what we’re doing is supporting everyone in their right to be here to be respected and to be dealt with in a civil manner,” said IU Associate Dean of Students Carol McCord.
Forum members say it was important to feel community support during a time of confusion and anger.