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University apologises for setting up segregated online sites

Dearborn: The University of Michigan-Dearborn issued an apology on Wednesday for creating segregated online student “cafes,” one for white people and another for people of colour, that it says were intended to promote discussions about race and diversity.

A statement by the university near Detroit came after two virtual “cafe” events were held on Tuesday, with one advertised as a “non-POC Cafe” for non-people of colour to ”gather and discuss their experience as students on campus and as non-POC in the world.”

Not that kind of cafe.

Not that kind of cafe.

The other, dubbed “BIOPIC Cafe” was for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, and described as a space for “marginalised racial/ethnic/cultural communities to gather and to relate with one another to discuss their experience as students on campus” and in the world.

Abed Ayoub, legal and policy director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said he understood the intention but “it could have been done better, obviously.” Ayoub said such spaces are created for students of colour who have experienced racism to safely share their experiences.

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