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Professor quits because school won’t let her train students to be anti-Israel activists

‘How do I teach students about advocacy, liberation, and justice?’

An adjunct professor at the University of Denver tendered “their” resignation on Wednesday, upset that “they” cannot “encourage” students to become anti-Israel activists.

Z Williams, a biological female who identifies as non-binary and uses “they/them” pronouns, claimed in a long-winded statement that DU’s Graduate School of Social Work “is intended to be a bastion of social justice.”

“My colleagues are some of the brightest minds in decolonial work, grassroots organizing, abolition, and mutual aid,” Williams (pictured) said according to Unicorn Riot. “I teach classes designed to encourage my students to join social movements and change the world.”

In this case, Williams means the “active scholasticide in Palestine” for which Israel (and its support from institutions like U. Denver) is to blame, specifically “the elimination of the opportunity to be educated for millions of Palestinian children.”

“My students have area restrictions and suspensions for honoring those lessons and protesting genocide,” Williams said. “Our staff is facing political retaliation. How do I teach students about advocacy, liberation, and justice only to have the administration of this school punish them for practicing just that?”

Williams was introduced at “their” press conference by Sister Baæl, a “full professed” sister in the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (even though he’s a guy). As seen in the video below, before introducing Williams Baæl offers a brief rambling speech about how “empire” has “desecrated” the shrines of his “queer kinfolk.”

Then with no apparent sense of irony, Baæl segues into lamenting the destruction in Gaza. Williams eventually takes the mic after another speaker’s words of alleged wisdom.

MORE: At U. Denver, students can get ID without ‘Pioneers’ nickname if it offends them

After “their” speech (the full text of which is available at Unicorn Riot), Williams turns to “their” supporters and says “OK, let’s turn this thing [resignation] in.”

En route to officially resign, Williams tells a reporter that DU is “ethically incompatible” with what “they” teach, and that the dean would not meet with “them” so the resignation letter will have to be left “at the desk.”

Once Williams does just that, “they’re” met with a too-long round of applause from supporters until “they” begin shouting (in the building) “FREE FREE PALESTINE!!”

Upon exiting, Williams mutters “goodbye fascist building.”

On X this past week, Williams wrote “Trans support of Palestine is causing moral panic because it challenges both neoliberalism (be like the Global North to be free!) simultaneously with the anti-trans panic and Nationalism of the right. Be louder. No pride in genocide!”

Williams describes “themself” as a “rabble rouser” on their Linkedin page, with “specialties” including “consensus facilitation, anti-oppression training, popular education, [and] conflict resolution.”

“They” also believe that “deadnaming” a transgender person is “an act of transphobic violence.”

In a related matter, U. Denver’s pro-Hamas encampment remained for over a week after school officials ordered it dismantled. A university rabbi said the activists were “being coddled” by DU.

MORE: Conservatives flee student groups at the University of Denver after campus harassment

IMAGE: Z Williams/X

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.