Ferguson, Mo., is more than 800 miles away from Chapel Hill, but conversations surrounding civil rights issues have become a topic of relevance everywhere.
Students, faculty and various community members met Tuesday for a presentation and panel entitled “I am a Human.”
During the course of the discussion, audience members both listened to experts in the field of civil rights and shared their own experiences with the treatment of minorities on campus and in the Chapel Hill community.
“No changes have ever been made at this University unless the kids, the students, get out and raise hell,” said civil rights lawyer Alan McSurely.
The event was hosted by the UNC chapters of the service fraternity Phi Beta Sigma and the NAACP.
Seniors Frank Tillman III and Jennell McIntosh, current presidents of the UNC chapters of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity and NAACP, respectively, showed videos to the audience.
The videos, one of which showed footage of civil rights protests in Alabama in 1963 and another that showed a debriefing of the aftermath of Michael Brown’s shooting in Ferguson, provided a framework through which audience members were encouraged to form questions for the panelists.
The panel included James and Braxton Foushee, long-time Chapel Hill civil rights activists; Deborah Stroman, director of sport entrepreneurship at UNC; Department of Public Safety Captain Connie Bullock, and civil rights lawyers Courtney Fauntleroy and Alan McSurely.
The first questions posed to the panel reflected the ongoing concern over the shooting of 18-year-old Brown by policeman Darren Wilson in Ferguson.