Rashida Love, director of the First Peoples Advising Services at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, has resigned. She’s the fifth high-profile Evergreen employee to resign as the public liberal arts college has struggled with unrest and accusations of institutional racism.
Rashida Love, director of the First Peoples Advising Services at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, has resigned, the college confirmed Friday.
She’s the fifth high-profile Evergreen employee to resign as the public liberal arts college has struggled with unrest and accusations of institutional racism.
Emails last spring between Love and former faculty member Bret Weinstein about a Day of Absence/Day of Presence activity fueled racial tensions and put Evergreen in the spotlight.
Each year, about 200 of the college’s nearly 4,800 students, faculty and staff participate in the Day of Absence/Day of Presence, officials say. In past years, minority students headed off campus to participate in programs and discussions.
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This year, the idea was flipped, and white students who chose to participate were asked to go off campus to talk about race issues as a show of “solidarity,” Love wrote in an email to Evergreen’s staff and faculty.
Weinstein objected, saying he saw the new format as “a show of force, and an act of oppression in and of itself.”
On May 23, Weinstein’s class was disrupted by a group of students. Video clips of students calling Weinstein a racist, demanding his resignation and telling him to apologize to Love went viral.
A day later, hundreds of students protested, and used furniture to block the main entrance of the library building, which houses the administration. Organizers said the event was in protest of “institutional racism” on campus. After that, Weinstein shared his views on Fox News.
The national attention drew a backlash. Death threats led to a three-day campus shutdown, graduation was moved to Tacoma.
Love worked in the student-affairs program for about nine years. She and faculty member Naima Lowe were threatened and harassed online during and after the protests, Evergreen faculty members say. Both were on personal leave at the beginning of this school year.
On Sept. 15, the college announced it had settled a claim from Weinstein and his wife, Heather Heying. The couple agreed to resign from their faculty positions, and receive $450,000 and an additional $50,000 toward legal costs.
Stacy Brown, Evergreen’s chief of Police Services, also was a target of protesters, left in August to become a Tumwater police officer.
Former women’s basketball coach Jennifer Schooler left in December. She and the college were recently named in a lawsuit filed by two students who are each seeking $500,000 for alleged racial and sexual-orientation discrimination.
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