After law school administration failed to immediately address a racially charged question brought up during a round-table discussion on Nov. 5, law students drafted the letter as a call to action.
About a week after the roundtable discussion, law school Dean Martin Brinkley sent a faculty-wide email on Nov. 13 addressing the comment and reiterating the law school’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.
On Friday, law students released the call to action, addressed to all law school administrators, faculty and staff, in response to Brinkley’s remarks.
“During the course of the event, which was otherwise engaging and informative, Dean Brinkley and Associate Dean of Student Affairs Kelly P. Smith failed to address a racist premise in a student’s question,” the letter said. “The student suggested that there was a correlation between UNC Law’s ranking and the hindering effect of being forced to satisfy some diversity quota.”
In addition to the roundtable incident, the letter also included a list of suggestions aimed at solving this issue.
Student Bar Association President Nana Asante is one of the individuals who drafted the letter.
“We wanted to use this letter as a learning opportunity for the larger Carolina community and as a mechanism by which to begin to gain a greater understanding of the experiences of students of color at Carolina Law,” Asante said.
Tamar Birckhead, law professor and director of clinical programs, said she signed the letter written by the law students as an observer and supporter of the letter’s purpose, goal and mission.