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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The organization created to promote racial healing in Mississippi is speaking out about the vandalization of a statue honoring a civil rights icon.

Vandals threw a noose, draped an old Georgia flag over the James Meredith monument on the Ole Miss campus. Investigators say the two men were also heard shout racial expletives as they ran away.

The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation says the university and many residents are creating a more inclusive society that celebrates diversity. It believes the racist attack was meant to incite hate and promote fear.

“We’re not afraid. We’re not intimidated by these kinds of actions. We know that tomorrow is going to be much better than yesterday was, and it will be because we as a community came together and committed ourselves to making it better,” William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation Youth Project Coordinator Von Gordon.

Ole Miss is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the vandalism case.

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