In light of the tragic events in Charlottesville, Va., we want to reaffirm Northern Illinois University’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We maintain, with certainty, that bigotry and hatred do not embody the university’s values.

We encourage free speech and believe that it is a fundamental element in the educational process. However, under no circumstance does violence have a place on our campus. As noted in our policy on Freedom of Expression and expressed in this video, the role of the university is to foster an environment in which differences can be explored, ideas challenged and knowledge generated to create a community where we strive to be just, open and caring. The safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is paramount, and that includes the emotional welfare of our students, as it is essential for learning.

We invite the members of the university community to participate in the following events designed to facilitate learning and the exchange of ideas:

Please join us at these events and in our commitment to civil discourse, to the safety of our campus and to building a community that embraces and celebrates each of its members.

Vernese Edghill-Walden, Chief Diversity Officer
Kelly Wesener-Michael, Dean of Students
Thomas Phillips, Chief of Police