Students, staff march to Ramsey's office to protest photo descri - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Students, staff march to Ramsey's office to protest photo described as 'racist'

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This photo published in the Courier-Journal has been called racist. This photo published in the Courier-Journal has been called racist.
U of L students and staff marched to Dr. James Ramsey's office on U of L's campus on Nov. 3, 2015, to protest a photo some are calling racist. U of L students and staff marched to Dr. James Ramsey's office on U of L's campus on Nov. 3, 2015, to protest a photo some are calling racist.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- With a list of demands in hand, students and staff marched to U of L President Dr. James Ramsey's office Tuesday.

A group called the Student Assembly Against Discrimination organized the march. They're upset about a photo that shows Ramsey and his staff dressed in a stereotype of Mexican culture. 

The photo in question shows President Ramsey and his staff in Mexican costumes. They are wearing sombreros, ponchos, and mustaches, and holding maracas. 

It was published in The Courier Journal. 

Some found it offensive and culturally insensitive. The Louisville Cardinal called it "racist" in an editorial. 

The students say Ramsey violated the University's Diversity Vision Statement.

Protesters are asking for a public apology -- and respect.

About seven students were allowed to meet with Dr. Ramsey for 30 minutes after the march, but they say they're not happy with what happened behind closed doors.

"First of all, he didn't hear what we had to say," said grad student Tania Avalos. "All he did was complain about how he was being interrupted, and we didn't really accomplish anything that we thought we were going to. And all he had was 30 minutes of his time."

After the meeting, school officials released the following statement:

"President James Ramsey met with a coalition of Latino students and others this afternoon at 2 pm for the purposes of issuing a personal apology and to express his willingness to engage in further dialogue with the campus community.  The president also expressed his interest in continuing conversations and offered several options for future meetings."

Students who organized Tuesday protest say they will continue to march and protest until Dr. Ramsey agrees to the list of demands.

Here's their list of demands:

  1. A public apology from President James Ramsey
  2. It should be made clear that a cultural center will be included in the 2020 development plan as well as student involvement in the process
  3. Clear and concise (up to date) Latin scholarship listings on the University of Louisville's website
  4. Provide honors courses in cultural diversity studies
  5. top tier staff must immerse themselves in culturally diverse programs; therefore, attend at least SIX (three per semester) events and/or programs held by students of color
  6. Demonstrate ways in which the University of Louisville is working toward retaining former, present and future Black and Brown professors
  7. University of Louisville staff trainings each semester led by Inclusion and Equity Interns
  8. Immediate removal of the confederate statue between Second and Third Street
  9. Mentorship provided for students of color which resembles the Board of Overseers

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