Hateful Speech is "Anathema to Our Values" -- CUNY Chancellor Milliken

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Chancellor James B. Milliken

The City University of New York (CUNY) is “a place of inclusion, not exclusion. Especially at a time when there is so much emotionally-charged debate around the country and on our own campuses, this has never been more important,” Chancellor James B. Milliken, speaking at a CUNY conference focusing on “Scholarships Supporting Diversity,” said Friday.

“Universities are places where free speech, debate and the open exchange of ideas are not just encouraged, they are necessary to our mission of exploring and understanding a diverse range of ideas and perspectives,” the Chancellor said. “And while we will always embrace this openness to many voices, intolerant, hateful and bigoted speech, while it may be legally protected, is anathema to our values.

“Those voices,” he said, “stop rather than encourage the dialogue and real debate that makes us stronger.”

Chancellor Milliken made his remarks at the 2015 CUNY Prestigious Scholarships Conference, held this year at LaGuardia Community College in Queens. The CUNY-wide conference focused this year on scholarships for women and underrepresented minorities. The keynote speaker was Zujaja Tauqueer, a native of Pakistan, graduate of Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College, who was selected as a Rhodes Scholar to study at Oxford University in 2011. She is now a Harvard University medical student.

“This is a special place and it must always welcome the richly diverse communities of New York and the world ,” said the Chancellor, who referred to CUNY’s exceptionally diverse student body hailing from 200 countries and speaking 190 languages.

He continued, “Our values, the tradition of CUNY as a place of opportunity welcoming all people, the excellence and diversity we celebrate today --- these are the things that define us and make this an institution so essential to the future of New York and the country. “

 

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