Racial Prejudice at
Carnegie Mellon University

This website is a live and online archive of testimonies by past and present Carnegie Mellon students about experiences of racial prejudice at Carnegie Mellon University. In the wake of worldwide protests against racial discrimination against Black people, it is imperative to recognize the existence of racism and racial prejudice within our own campus.

If you would like to submit a testimony of an experience of racial prejudice at CMU, please click here. Current students, alumni, and staff are welcome to contribute.

If you are interested in trying to do something about racial prejudice at CMU, please consider signing these petitions:

https://tinyurl.com/CMUpolicing https://tinyurl.com/CMUprejudice

    “There are so few other Black students & professors, (which was a concern coming in) that the community feels small and that can be super super lonely. CMU needs to do better at making the culture here for Black students better whether it be by uplifting SPIRIT and NSBE or getting more Black speakers. Support for us is there, but it's sparse and without action. It feels like CMU neglects us and has no genuine actionable responses to our needs.

Microaggressions exist everywhere. People are surprised when I speak up in class or have genuine thoughts. Often I feel discredited by professors or like they value my white peers' ideas more. In living spaces, I was alone & I'm not honestly sure how many other Black students lived in [my building] - it can be so, overwhelmingly, lonely.”

- Anonymous
“As a first gen student, a minority student, and a student with a rough upbringing, I am often treated as someone who is "different" or "less". I have had multiple friends of mine be told that they should not hang around "people like me" either because of my race, my financial background, or simply because my family has not been educated enough. Instead, these friends have told me that their families are disappointed in how they choose me as a friend, not because of anything I have done, but instead because of my background. "Why do you hang out with someone like him" they say? "Why don't you go hang out with someone with a wealthy and educated family"?
Why not someone white or asian and not someone whose skin tone is "dark and dirty"? This has not only occurred once. It is a multiple time occurence with multiple friends and sadly, I know I'm not the lone victim of this. I wish it was an issue that had only occured in one instance, however, it is not. I feel like it's a thing all over the university and upper education. People seem to want to act superior whether due to race, socioeconomic background or major and I feel like this is especially prevalent at our University in particular.”

                  - Anonymous (from Reddit)
“I know that I deserve to be here because I worked as hard as everyone else and [I] have something of value to offer. However, the institution itself is not designed to accommodate underrepresented students and instead decides to cater to the majority — in CMU’s case, white and East Asian students. I know people who just think of it as being normal because the number of microaggressions [is] too tiring to pay any mind to. From racial assumptions based [on] where someone is from, to faculty focusing solely on Eurocentric curricula, there isn’t a sense of urgency or priority towards minority stories or history.”

- Anonymous rising sophomore in CFA (from the Tartan article)

“I just feel a little isolated at times, and when I walk around certain buildings — Gates, for example — I feel like people know that I, as a Black person, don’t belong there…. I get called the wrong name all the time. Whenever I am in a space with more than one Black woman, I am always mistaken for the other one. It’s a bit aggravating.”

- Anonymous rising junior in Dietrich (from the Tartan article)