KENT, Ohio — *Editor's Note: The video in the player above originally aired on February 17, 2021.
Kent State Police have opened a criminal investigation after a plaque on the campus of Kent State University was defaced with a racist slur.
The University was made aware of the vandalism, featuring the N-word, on Wednesday and immediately contacted authorities.
The University, in an effort to maintain the transparency promised in the fall of 2020, regarding instances of racism and bias, addressed the vandalism in a letter to faculty, staff, and students on Thursday.
"We look forward to the day when we no longer have to send such messages. Actions like this only reaffirm our values and our commitment to being an anti-racist campus," the letter read. "We call on everyone in our Kent State community to be agents of positive social change so we can create a better world for all of us. We ask that you step up as allies and continue to educate yourselves in order to counter racism and discrimination on all of our campuses."
The University also addressed the impact the racist vandalism may have on its students of color.
"To our Black students, faculty and staff, we realize the pain and hurt that this causes. Please know that we support you."
The vandalism remains under investigation. Anyone with any information on the incident is urged to contact the Kent State Police Department at 330-672-3070.
In response to the vandalism, Kent State's Anti-Racism Task Force will host a virtual Town Hall via Zoom on Thursday, April 8 at 5 p.m.
According to the release, during the Town Hall, the university will reiterate its commitment to anti-racism and announce a series of immediate actions that will take to "dismantle racism at Kent State."
For more information and to read the full letter from President Diacon, click here.
*Editor's Note: The video in the player above originally aired on September 8, 2020.