St. Thomas Community Gathers to Show Support for Student Targeted by Racist Graffiti

October 25, 2018 06:14 PM

Students at the University of St. Thomas staged a protest on campus Thursday.

It was in response to a student finding a racial slur scrawled on his residence hall door.


Hundreds of students and members of the St. Thomas community gathered for a sit-in. It was a show of support for the student who received the threatening note.

Thursday, he thanked the people gathered and said he would like to keep focusing on his education.

"I'm not going anywhere," Kevyn Perkins said. "I'll get that degree and open doors for others that don't have power."

Perkins found a racist message on his door in a dormitory Friday. He said he is encouraged by the hundreds of people who showed up Thursday - including St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter.

RELATED: St. Thomas Officials Investigate Report of Racist Message Left in Dorm

"And a thing that gives me hope is whenever we see an individual make an act like that we see hundreds of individuals all together to say that's not who we are as a city," Carter said. "It does me proud."

"Each of us as individuals has to reflect on our own actions," St. Thomas President Julie Sullivan said. "And I published an action plan."

The first step in Sullivan's action plan is a school-wide meeting next week. Afternoon classes will be canceled Wednesday so students, faculty and staff can all join together to combat racism.

But Sullivan stresses this is just step one in a long-term commitment to keep the University of St. Thomas open and welcoming to all.


Leah McLean

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