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Managing Campus Protests and Demonstrations at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2018
20 pages

This report presents the proceedings of the 2017 18th Annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Law Enforcement Executives and Administrators (HBCU-LEEA) Training Conference, which was a national forum convened to identify challenges and potential solutions in managing protests and demonstrations on HBCU campuses.


Forum participants included campus police and safety officials from HBCUs across the country. The forum discussions focused on ensuring the safety of protestors and campus property while preserving the traditional role of HBCU campuses as centers of activism, engagement, and dissent. The challenges identified were 1) the lack of trust in law enforcement by protest organizers and some campus administrators; 2) ineffective communication between campus law enforcement and campus administrators, as well as community-based media, political groups, and local law enforcement; and 3) the increased risk posed by disruptive external actors. Forum participants brainstormed solutions for addressing identified challenges, and then they prioritized those solution for focus. Needs given priority were 1) bridging gaps among the campus security agency, college administrators and faculty, and students; 2) using popular tools, such as social media, to publicize appropriate and inappropriate protestor behavior; and 3) using various media to publicize safety officials' views of the rights of protestors and unacceptable behavior that threatens the rights and safety of others. Appended list of forum participants