Wayne State Drops Diversity Award

The Story

Wayne State University decided to drop The Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity Award, named for the 90-year-old alumnus of the school.  The University referred to Thomas' remarks in a recent speech as "anti-Semitic."  Similar comments about Jews several months ago caused Thomas to resign from her long-standing position as a White House Correspondent. 

Helen Thomas

Discussion Starters

  • Did the university make the right decision?  Why or why not?
  • Thomas responded to the university's move: "...the leaders of Wayne State University have made a mockery of the First Amendment and disgraced their understanding of its inherent freedom of speech and the press."  What do you think of her response?

 Assignment Ideas

  • Write an email to Thomas on behalf of Wayne State leaders, explaining the decision to drop the award.
  • Write an email to previous award recipients.  How can you explain the decision without diminishing the honor for those who received an award in the past?