When the photo of Citadel cadets dressed in white hoods first came out, the National Action Network was vocal and called for the resignation of Citadel President Lt. Gen. John Rosa, Jr. But on Monday, NAN retracted that statement, saying they are pleased with the Citadel’s response and plan to start a partnership with the school.
President of the National Action Network, Elder James Johnson, says, “The National Action Network is not in the business of destroying life or stopping somebody’s career. We are satisfied with the disciplinary action that the school has taken. We will be working with the Citadel 100% to improve that relationship across America.”
That relationship means four members of the National Action Network are assigned to work directly with the Citadel to improve diversity and race relations on campus. NAN has five goals for that partnership.
NAN Spokesperson, Victoria Melendez, says, “One is for a mandatory class for all new cadets teaching the history of the Citadel. Two, we would like five free scholarships for minority students in Charleston. Three, we would like to establish a program commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the advancements brought about by the Civil Rights Movement. Four, we are requesting the Citadel be more involved in Title 1 schools in the area to enhance community involvement and facilitate racial harmony. And five, we would like to be working with the Citadel to remove the Confederate flag from the chapel at the Citadel.”
The National Action Network says they hope this will bring about positive change and a new reputation for the Citadel.
Johnson says, “We have the opportunity right now to change the direction, I should say the race relationship with the Citadel. When a minority talks about the Citadel, they talk about a racist college. We want to change that image of this college, locally and across America.”
NAN says Lt. Gen. Rosa has already welcomed the group onto the campus to make these changes.