Division News & Statements

Statement calling on an end to "ghost photoshoot" social media trend at Grand Valley

September 24, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

As we continue to live into our Grand Valley values of inclusion and equity, we want to shed light on a recent realization about a social media trend that deserves discussion and attention. Based on at least three reported incidents on our campus, some community members have been participating in the "ghost photoshoot" social media trend – dressing up in white sheets and taking pictures around campus. In response, many students of color have voiced their concerns about their safety and well-being as a result of these images which, in a different context, reflect the regalia of white supremacist hate groups who enact violence toward the Black community. 

While the "ghost photoshoot" appears to be disconnected from anything related to racial hatred, as a community, we recognize that intent and impact are two different things.  The impact of seeing these images has left many students feeling fear and distrust on our campus – contrary to our goal of all students feeling a sense of belonging.  As President Mantella shared yesterday in her campus message: we must elevate the voices and experiences of our Black faculty, staff, and students.  In this moment, we can do this by uniting as Lakers and discontinuing this practice.

Division of Inclusion & Equity
Grand Valley State University

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Page last modified September 24, 2020