Employee Assembly Zoom Bomb Statement
On Wednesday, July 1, 2020, during a public, digital gathering of the Cornell Employee Assembly, unknown individuals who we believe are not affiliated with the University disrupted our meeting by interjecting hateful, racist messages and images. These disruptions were disturbing and upsetting to both our EA members, and to the well-intentioned viewers who joined the meeting as guests. The hateful messages were especially disturbing considering only a day before, the Employee Assembly sponsored a forum on the topic of equity and anti-racism at Cornell.
The Employee Assembly is proud of its work to increase the openness of its meetings; efforts that have significantly increased engagement of our employees with members of the EA. We are saddened, and frankly outraged, that the perpetrators took advantage of this open access to spew their hate filled views. We strongly condemn the vile actions of those individuals who chose to disrupt our meeting with their racist, bigoted messages.
We acknowledge the pain that this intrusion caused and we stand in solidarity with those who are most vulnerable to the evils of racism, discrimination, and bigotry. Hate has no place at Cornell and we will not be dissuaded from moving forward and continuing the positive work of the Employee Assembly.
We also recognize that every attempt to divide us presents an opportunity to embrace the values that make us strong as we continue the fight for positive change. The principles of inclusion, diversity, and belonging are a part of the character of Cornell University and this incident is an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to these beliefs. Indeed, the University Core Values state that:
As a university founded to be a place where “…any person can find instruction…,” we value diversity and inclusion, and we strive to be a welcoming, caring, and equitable community where students, faculty, and staff with different backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn, innovate, and work in an environment of respect, and feel empowered to engage in any community conversation.
We would like to thank Employee Assembly members for their service and the wider staff community for their engagement as we move forward beyond this unfortunate incident.
Adam Howell, Chair of the Employee Assembly
Hei Hei Depew, Executive Vice Chair of the Employee Assembly
Mary Opperman, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Support services are available to all members of the Cornell community. Employees may call the Faculty Staff Assistance Program at 607-255-2673.
The university is committed to fostering a safe, respectful and inclusive living, learning and working environment for the entire university community. All members of the community are encouraged to report bias incidents or concerns.