In the aftermath of Nikole Hannah-Jones’ decision to decline tenure at UNC-Chapel Hill, student leaders hosted a press conference issuing a list of demands to the university.
To ensure safety, student leaders within the Black Student Movement are demanding UNC implement ‘anti-racist alerts’ into the campus-wide Alert Carolina system, terminate the employment of police chief Rahsheem Holland, hire full-time black councilors who ‘specialize in racial trama,’ and increase the number of black staff members in Title X and the women’s center.
Other demands focus on equity and include a ‘metric-driven recruitment strategy for Black faculty,’ publically available equity scorecards for all departments, a memorial for James Cates (a black student stabbed and killed on campus in 1970), the restoration of the Unsung Founders memorial, and grade appeal information on syllabi.
“We come to you today united in our pain, united in our lack of trust,” said Jaci Field , UNC staff member and Carolina Black Caucus representative. “And we are feeling betrayed.”
The press conference was jointly held by The Black Student Movement, The UNC Black Caucus, and the UNC Black Graduate and Professional Association. On their Twitter page, the Black Student Movement also released a statement condemning Rahsheem Holland’s actions as police chief. Read our statement on the promotion of Rahsheem Holland as UNC Police Chief. pic.twitter.com/Lb0rsLL81a — The Black Student Movement (@unc_bsm) July 6, 2021
“We are trying to create a Carolina community that is safe for these students,” said Taliajah Vann, UNC Black Student Movement president, at the press conference. “Because — and I’ve said this numerous times — it currently is not.”
“Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz has tasked a team with building an inventory and assessment that will look at initiatives underway that Carolina can strengthen as well as new ways to address ongoing concerns,” UNC told Campus Reform. “This is an important step in bringing forward meaningful, substantive and actionable change.”
Additionally, student body president Lamar Richards took to Twitter Thursday morning to criticize “performative actor[s]” at the university — which included faculty leaders, department chairs, and centers on campus. Whew, I woke up this morning and chose justice…so […]
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