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Postponement of Community Conversation: The Crisis in the Middle East

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Dear Howard University Community,

It is our firm belief that a college campus is a place where campus community members are encouraged to exchange ideas, engage in civil discourse, and exercise their First Amendment right to free speech to advance discovery, intellectual growth, and the promotion of social justice - even when views and opinions are different from their own.

That was the full intention behind our decision to host today’s Community Conversation: The Crisis in the Middle East. However, we will need to postpone our Community Conversation until a later date, to be determined.

We do so out of an abundance of caution, acknowledging comments heard during this afternoon’s protests. This includes some individuals who chose to bang on the doors of the Mordecai Wyatt Johnson Administration Building, use menacing and threatening language, and hinder access to the building. We were concerned that such activities could continue–  even escalate– at this evening’s event. The safety of our faculty, staff, and students cannot be jeopardized nor compromised in any way. 

The crisis in the Middle East is one that offers a variety of thoughts and opinions.  We will continue to work with University thought leaders around this matter and engage with the campus community to determine how to hold sustained dialogue that will allow safe, respectful expression around this humanitarian crisis. 

We do want to remind our campus community about the University’s Peaceful Assembly Policy that sets forth Howard University’s procedures related to permissible peaceful assemblies. We advise all to become familiar with our policy and understand their rights and responsibilities, as well as our expectations for safe and respectful demonstrations.