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Interim President Avis Stewart signs on to call for state lawmakers to pass hate crimes law

August 23, 2018

Earlham Interim President Avis Stewart is among a group of 24 leaders from Indiana institutions of higher education to sign a letter urging the General Assembly to pass a hate crimes law.

The letter, which was released Monday, Aug. 20, comes after a call to action by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb for lawmakers to pass a law during the 2019 legislation session. The governor was responding to a bias incident in Indianapolis at an Indianapolis synagogue.

“As presidents of colleges and universities in the great state of Indiana, we write in support of strong hate crime legislation, and join regional business groups who call for a law which would authorize judges ‘to enhance penalties against criminals who harmed others based on their ability, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity,” the letter reads.

Earlham College was founded by the Quaker Principles and Practices of respect for persons, integrity, peace and justice, simplicity, and community. “As our Principles and Practices remind us, ‘we aspire to be a community whose members act with regard for the intellectual, physical and emotional well-being of everyone,’” Stewart says. “I stand with my fellow leaders at Indiana colleges and universities to enact stronger laws that uphold our values and ensure the safety and well-being of our students and Hoosiers across the state.”

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Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. We rank 7th nationally for Best Classroom Experience, according to The Princeton Review.

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at 765-983-1256 and


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