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A racist and threatening e-mail was sent to numerous Black student groups on the University of Massachusetts campus in Amherst, and a university official said there has been an increase in anti-Black incidents this academic year.

“The content of these emails is vile, blatantly racist, and violently offensive,” wrote Nefertiti A. Walker, the university’s vice chancellor and chief diversity officer, in a letter to the UMass community on Thursday.

“In addition, there have been other acts of anti-Black hate imposed on our community through the ‘Contact Us’ online forms of registered student organizations, as well as an incident involving the offender driving by and yelling an anti-Black racist epithet at a group of Black students,” according to the letter, which was obtained by the Globe.

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UMass police and the university’s information technology department are working to uncover the identity of the e-mail’s sender, which was anonymous, Walker said in the letter. University administrators and staff are working with students to provide a space for dialogue and support, Walker wrote.

“Our priority is both to support our impacted students and investigate these incidents to the fullest extent,” Walker said. “Both processes are ongoing.”

Walker urged students to report any racist or biased incidents they’ve experienced or witnessed to the Office of Equity and Inclusion.



Nick Stoico can be reached at nick.stoico@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @NickStoico.