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The Daily Tar Heel

Letter: How can UNC honor what it forbids?


On Tuesday afternoon, I attended the Diversity Awards at the Pleasants Room in Wilson Library. As I approached the front doors I was greeted by two students distributing flyers listing the day’s honorees, including students, staff, and faculty who have had a positive impact on the multicultural experience here at UNC.

But the back of the flyer noted that “the Educational Policy Committee of the UNC Board of Governors is considering a proposal to forbid one of the winners of today’s awards — the UNC Center for Civil Rights — from litigating cases.”

What? How can UNC honor an office, while at the same time try to prevent that office from doing its very necessary work?

The Pleasants Room was packed, and while everyone was very enthusiastic about all the winners, there was notable response to the Center for Civil Rights. A number of people stood up and applauded — and they did this more than once.

The Center serves communities that have been subjected to, and are still suffering from, persistent school segregation, voter suppression and environmental racism. These communities look to UNC for help. To ask the Center for Civil Rights not to litigate for civil rights is counter-intuitive as well as immoral.

All of us in the UNC community need to email the Board of Governors at and Chancellor Folt at and let them know of our strong opposition to this proposal!

Jane Gabin

Class of ’77

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