The Umoja House residence hall on the campus of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is the home to 28 multicultural students. The word umoja is Swahili and means unity. Recently the house was targeted by eggs and spray-painted with graffiti. The graffiti, which was found on the house and nearby sidewalks, contained racial slurs including the word “nigger.” The night after the incident, 1,600 attended a rally in support of the residents of Umoja House.
In an email to the campus community, Lehigh University president Alice Gast stated, “This is a cowardly and hateful act. We all need to stand together as a community against all acts that are motivated by intolerance and aggression.”
Seven years ago, a skinned deer head was left at the front door of Umoja House.
According to the latest Department of Education data, Blacks make up 4 percent of the 4,900-member undergraduate student body at Lehigh University.