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Monday, September 25, 2023
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Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin accepts an envelope containing a list of demands regarding the University of Wisconsin-Madison's response to a video which shows a white UW-Madison student using racial slurs on May 3, 2023.

UW-Madison leaders seek ‘positive’ partnership with Blk Pwr Coalition

The Blk Pwr Coalition has met with Chancellor Mnookin’s office multiple times since May

The Blk Pwr Coalition has met on multiple occasions with University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin’s office, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori Reesor told The Daily Cardinal on Tuesday. 

Students from the Blk Pwr Coalition first met on May 10 with Mnookin, interim Provost Eric Wilcots, Deputy Vice Chancellor LaVar Charleston and Reesor, the week after widespread protests over a racist video.

The group met with university leaders multiple times over the summer, most recently for a “touch-base” meeting the week before fall classes began, according to Reesor.

Reesor called the meetings “incredibly positive” and said university leaders are exploring future partnership opportunities.

"I have great respect for the leadership in the organization and some of [their] shared activities and plans," Reesor said. “[We’re] starting to partner and think about opportunities to engage the campus from the horrific video that happened last semester.”  

Mnookin attended the first meeting in May but did not attend follow-up meetings with senior university administrators in the past few months, Reesor confirmed.

The meetings come months after a video showing Audrey Godlewski, a white UW-Madison student, saying racial slurs and violent remarks directed toward Black people. The video was met with immediate criticism from students, community members and university officials, sparking days of student-led protests led by the newly-formed Blk Pwr Coalition.

Godlewski apologized for the video a month later in an email sent to the Cardinal. 

In a response after Godlewski’s apology was made public, the Blk Pwr Coalition explained their disappointment on her choice “to release her apology to campus media before consulting with the people whom her comments directly impacted.”

The Blk Pwr Coalition did not respond to a request for comment.

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Jasper Bernstein

Jasper Bernstein is the Associate News Editor for The Daily Cardinal. Follow him on Twitter at @jasperberns.

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