Talisman for a Long Memory

This is a talisman for a long memory. It is a package of stickers from a protest launched by New York University’s Native American and Indigenous Student’s Group about the politically motivated dismissal of a Native administrator for his unwavering advocacy on behalf of students and staff of color, even when the best interests of students went against the plans of higher administration.

While students were granted an audience with NYU’s higher admin, the core issues of the protest were not taken up by the university leadership. The university has overlooked domestic diversity in favor of global diversity, despite the fact that the two are not mutually exclusive.

Of the 42,189 students enrolled at NYU, 81 are Native American or Alaskan Native. That’s 0.19%. New York City has 0.6% and the USA has 1%.

Of the 42,189 students enrolled at NYU, 1,948 are Black. That’s 4.6%. New York City is 17.2% and the USA is 12.9%.

Of the 42,189 students enrolled at NYU, 2,616 are Hispanic. That’s 6.2%. New York City has 16.8% and the USA has 15.8%.

Of the 16,475 employees at NYU, 14 are Native American or Alaskan Native. Only one is full time faculty.

Of the 16,475 employees at NYU, 2,2062 are Black. Only 96 are full time faculty.

Of the 16,475 employees at NYU,1,593 are Hispanic. Only 92 are full time faculty.

(this data is from NYU’s Factbook for 2008-2009, the most recent years NYU has made public)

In short, NYU still says No to Natives. Yet the university’s higher administration has moved on. They have forgotten about the issues we brought before them, even as they continue to placate our student leaders. We would like to bequeath these stickers as a talisman so that the student body, faculty, and the wider NYC community does not suffer from such a short memory.

 

— hand delivered in New York City

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