The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Message to the Community Regarding “Zoom-Bombing” Episode

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On July 20th of 2020, a “Zoom-Bombing” incident took place during a Rockefeller Center career development event in which hateful language—including racial slurs and misogynistic language—was directed at panelists and Rocky staffers. The perpetrator is unknown at this time because this person, or possibly several people, used false identities. In any event, the incident was wrong and the actions likely violated conduct codes governing Dartmouth College activities. Accordingly, in the hours following the incident occurred, Rockefeller Center staff initiated an investigation with the local campus authorities and the Title IX office as well as with technology experts at Dartmouth and at Zoom, the internet firm whose software was being used to host the meeting.

The goal of the career panel was to share the perspective of recent graduates with current students and community members. Like many Rocky events in 2020, the event was designed to recreate some of the interactive elements of the in-person panel experience, albeit in a remote delivery setting due to campus gathering restrictions during the pandemic. The Rockefeller Center will be making changes to prevent or reduce the chances of a recurrence while still trying to hold “public” events delivered remotely.

In the meantime, please feel free to check-in with Rockefeller Center staff for updates at rockefeller.center.feedback@dartmouth.edu. Additionally, we have posted statements about the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion on the Rockefeller Center website and links to messages from the administration on the topic.  Finally, the career center panelists have been invited to continue the panel in a secure fashion that will be posted publicly on the Rocky website. A link to a recording of the panel can be found here.

The Rockefeller Center is committed to holding all of its programming in a safe manner. As stated in a message to the dozens of career panel participants during the evening of July 20th, “What was said has no place at a Rockefeller Center event, does not align with our values, and was wholly unacceptable.” We regret the sequence of events and plan to use this episode as a teaching moment to illustrate the need for continued attention to these issues in courses, events, and leadership programs.

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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences