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Second racially-charged social media post in as many days surfaces at UND

GRAND FORKS, N.D.--After two racially charged photos were circulated on social media within 48 hours of each other, University of North Dakota President Mark Kennedy said more will be done at the school to educate people on campus about diversity...

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GRAND FORKS, N.D.-After two racially charged photos were circulated on social media within 48 hours of each other, University of North Dakota President Mark Kennedy said more will be done at the school to educate people on campus about diversity and inclusion.

RELATED: UND investigating Snapchat with racial slur

In a statement released Thursday, Kennedy said he and a team will look at how other universities are educating people on diversity issues and bring those best practices to UND.

"It is abundantly clear that we have much work to do at the University of North Dakota in educating our students, and the entire university community on issues related to diversity, inclusion and respect for others," Kennedy said in a statement.

Kennedy's statement comes after two racially charged social media posts involving UND received national media attention in the past two days.

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The first has a photo that is captioned "Locked the black b**** out."

The second image shows four people in blackface with the caption "Black lives matter."

Both photos were posted on Snapchat, a popular mobile app used to post videos and images, and went viral after Shaun King, a social justice reporter at the New York Daily News, tweeted the photos out to his more than 362,000 followers on Twitter.

The UND Police Department and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities are in the process of investigating these two incidents, but it is unknown how long the investigation will last, said Peter Johnson, a spokesman for the university.

"We are moving as fast as we can," Kennedy wrote. "I understand that we all would like a swift resolution. However, our society, our legal system and campus conduct processes are predicated on due process. We must maintain the integrity of our policies and procedures by following due process."

The two photos are an opportunity to provide an education to all members of the campus community, Kennedy said. Based on conversations he's had with people on campus, alumni and people not directly connected to UND, Kennedy said he wants to use this situation to address these "long-standing issues within our community and across the country."

"I have been disappointed to learn that we have people in our university community who don't know that the kind of behavior and messaging demonstrated in these two photos is not OK, and that, in fact, it is inexcusable," Kennedy said.

A team will be directed by Kennedy to learn about diversity education practices at other universities that could be implemented at UND.

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"As I have said before, we value diversity and inclusion and take seriously respect for others as well as the exchange of different thoughts and ideas," Kennedy said. "To achieve the vision of One UND, we must take steps to demonstrate these values across our university community."

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