By | Iridian Casarez
As Joselin Dorado was walking up to the MulitiCultural Center (MCC) on Sunday afternoon, she started to notice that the “Justice for Josiah” posters as well as “Our Culture is Not a Costume” campaign posters had been torn and left in front of the MCC.
“This makes me upset,” Dorado said. “We try our best to include everyone at the MCC and this vandalism makes it seem like we’re failing.”
Dorado also found a note that read “It’s okay to be white.”
Dorado said she was heading to the MCC to work on a Día de los Muertos altar with a couple of her coworkers when she found the ripped up posters. She sent a photo to her coworkers in a group chat to tell them what happened. Dorado picked up the ripped posters and told her coordinator about the incident.
“This incident was racist,” Dorado said. “They targeted posters with people of color and culture.”
They contacted UPD and filed a police report. Dorado said that UPD dismissed the incident and said it was because of the Halloween weekend.
“UPD kind of dismissed it and made it seem like we weren’t going to be able to catch the person,” Dorado said. “They didn’t even offer more patrol.”
Ana Maria Diaz also works at the MultiCultural Center as the Campus and Community Dialogue on Race Coordinator. When Diaz heard about the incident, she said she was upset.
“We thought it was a prank until it happened again,” Diaz said.
The Wednesday after the vandalism occurred, more posters were found torn in front of the MCC. UPD was contacted again, and Dorado said that a different UPD officer was more upset that the incident occurred than the first UPD officer.
“It’s frustrating, someone targeted a safe house,” Diaz said. “Once is enough.”
Luz Espinoza, the intercultural intersectional specialist at the MCC said she found the vandalism as a personal attack against the MultiCultural Center and Josiah Lawson’s passing.
“We have heard complaints about white people not feeling welcomed at the MCC, but that’s not true,” Espinoza said.
Diaz and Espinoza, with the help of their coworkers Deema Hindawi and Teadja Owings, decided to take matters into their own hands. They decided to stake out the Multicultural Center on Halloween night.
“We tried our best to make it look like we left,” Espinoza said. “We spent the night hoping to find and confront the person who vandalized the MCC.”
On the night of their stakeout, the MCC stakeout team didn’t hear or see anything suspicious. They were unable to confront and catch the person who vandalized the MultiCultural Center.
“If someone has a problem with the MCC, come talk to us,” Diaz said. “We’re open to dialogue.”