- Associated Press - Thursday, November 12, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Two students are planning to use social media to start a conversation about racism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and on apps students download to their phones.

The Lincoln Journal Star (http://bit.ly/20PbF3W) reports sophomore Danielle Young and junior Gloria Kimbulu have created the #NotAtUNL campaign, which will run on Twitter from Monday to Nov. 20. The campaign aims to spread awareness of race-related issues that have occurred on the Lincoln campus by encouraging students to share their stories of racism.

According to Young and Kimbulu, who met on Twitter last year, incidents that are racially-charged happen too frequently on the Lincoln campus and are prominent on anonymous location-based messaging app Yik Yak.

“It’s so frightening to read what people say and to know these are people I walk past every day,” Kimbulu said.

According to Kimbulu, the racism exemplifies a systemic problem furthered by social media. She said that racism on campus not only directed at black students, but Asian and international students as well.

The students, who say they have both experienced racism on campus, hope the campaign will help steer the Lincoln campus from becoming “another Mizzou,” in reference to recent student protests of racism at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Young said the campaign has the potential “to build a community,” and comes at a crucial time.

Kimbulu said “Racism is an uncomfortable topic for people to talk about, but we’re not going to move forward until we have those uncomfortable conversations.”

“We can’t just wait for things to keep happening; we can’t wait for UNL to become Mizzou,” Young said.

UNL spokesman Steve Smith said administrators welcome the discussion and hope it will be a positive experience for students. The school is in the process of hiring a chief diversity officer and a consulting firm will conduct a diversity audit of the institution’s courses, services and other areas.

The school’s spokesman said “It’s something we obviously encourage, and we hope it’s carried out in the method that’s intended and is a positive experience for students.”

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com

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