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"Welcome White Week" Flyer At A Kentucky University Sparks Student Protest

Northern Kentucky University is investigating the flyer which appeared to mock a "Welcome Black Week" event on campus.

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The flyer, shared on social media, appeared to mock the "Welcome Black Week" event organized by the African American Programs and Services — a student organization at NKU. The "White Week" poster listed events such as "White Lives Matter vs. Black Lives Matter," "Pizza Party for Tolerance" and "L.G.B.T.Q.R.S.T.U.V. and You."

"Whenever I do good, evil is always present." -Romans 7:21. Educate yourself before you spread ignorance

The mock flyer said the event was organized by the "Nationalist Society for Inclusive Student Involvement."

The university said the flyer and the organization were "not approved or official" and that the mock flyer was placed without approval.

The school said its Student Affairs department was investigating the incident.

"We’re still looking into it," university spokeswoman Amanda Nageleisen told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "But all signs point to this not being a legitimate organization or flyer or activity.”

She said the mock flyers were removed by most students after coming to the university's attention on Tuesday.

Nageleisen did not respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.

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At least 50 students on Wednesday attended a peaceful protest on campus in response to the flyer.

Facebook: nkuaaps

James Johnson, the protest's organizer, addressed other issues of racial discrimination on campus, including the "whitewashing" of events during Welcome Week and homecoming.

Johnson said the events and programs at @nkuedu are white-washed. Mentions homecoming and Welcome week.

"The ignorance that stands on NKU’s campus is no longer acceptable," Johnson told The Northerner, the student newspaper. “It’s starting to become deliberate. Just like this person who deliberately copied our flyer," he said.

Johnson said that the reason Welcome Black Week was organized was "because we weren’t initially included in the festivities the university has.”

"We worked hard for Welcome Black Week in response to the lack of representation in the universal programs within Welcome Week, and we can even go back to homecoming,” he told The Northerner. “It’s like a cause and effect. So the reason they did this [posted the “Welcome White Week” flyer] was because we had Welcome Black Week."

In a Facebook post referring to the protest, Johnson wrote, "Racism and discrimination must go! We will not stand for the undermining and the deliberate disrespect of our struggle. OUR VOICE WILL BE HEARD!"

Johnson did not respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.

Other black students described their experiences on campus.

Geordan Pryor gets emotional as she discusses the issues she has faced as a black student. @northernermedia

One student spoke about being the only black student in her class, while another said they were unable to find a chemistry partner, The Northerner reported.

NKU President Geoffrey Mearns addressed the protesters, thanking them for their response to the flyer and "for the spirit of the conversation."

.@PresidentMearns looks on as the demonstration continues. @northernermedia

"I’m grateful for the way you’ve responded,” Mearns told the students. "You’ve responded in the best way of the character of the people here and the character of this institution."

He added: "You know how you defeat ignorance is through knowledge. You defeat despair and cynicism with faith and hope. You defeat darkness with light and overall you defeat hate with love. I’m thankful for the spirit of the conversation, and the way you’ve responded because you exemplify those traits and that’s why we know we’ll win."

The school's African American Programs and Services organization said in a statement that they stood "in solidarity with students, staff and faculty who were offended by the intolerant flyer created by individuals who chose not to embrace the recent 'Welcome Black Week' activities."

Facebook: nkuaaps

"As students of NKU and more importantly African Americans we will not stand for mockery and disrespect," the school's chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity said in a tweet.

As students of @NKUEDU & most importantly African Americans we will not stand for mockery & disrespect.

Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at tasneem.nashrulla@buzzfeed.com.

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