UIS employee’s racist Facebook post draws anger

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Illinois State Capitol (Photo by Éovart Caçeir at English Wikipedia)

SPRINGFIELD — An employee at University of Illinois at Springfield is under fire for a Facebook post that shows her in a US Border Patrol outfit and her husband in a sombrero.

The State Journal-Register reported that Ann Gemberling and her husband Jay, another UIS employee, appeared to be at a costume party in the photo.

From the State Journal-Register:

A spokesperson for UIS said Jay Gemberling and Ann Gemberling are employees of the university. It wasn’t immediately known if either were at work Monday or what discipline they might face. Jay Gemberling works as a carpenter in Residence Life. Ann Gemberling works as a business/administrative associate in the school’s Business & Management Administration.

Ann Gemberling’s Facebook post was taken down, but not before others re-posted it.

Elizabeth Scrafford, a member of the Springfield Immigrant Advocacy Network, said the incident is a learning opportunity for Gemberlings, but also a possibility for UIS to address racism.

“We’re all human beings and we all make mistakes,” Scrafford said. “The question is, ‘How do we respond when we’ve caused harm?’

“It’s also a chance for UIS to bring in anti-racism training.”

UIS issued a statement Monday, saying that it believes “in creating and maintaining an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. Though we cannot discuss specific personnel issues, we review any such matters that are brought to our attention.”

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