The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday January 20th

'For all kind'? A group of Black UNC alumni don't think so.

<p>Photo by Alex Kormann</p>
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Photo by Alex Kormann

Clarification: UNC basketball player Bill Chamberlin was not a part of this boycott. He asked the organizers to remove his name, but it was still included in the press release. The story has been updated to reflect these changes. 

Updated at 7:31 p.m.: Kate Luck, media relations manager for UNC, said that the University is aware of the ban and has been working on the issues those supporting the boycott outlined. 

Luck said Chancellor Carol Folt and Dean Bob Blouin have previously met with the group of boycotters. 

"While we don’t believe the statement reflects our conversations or the strides the University has made over the last decade, we value input from people who care about the University," Luck said.

She said that the University's diverse community and teaching staff has been recognized nationally, and that the University is disappointed by the proposed boycott.

A group of Black UNC alumni called "Hark the Drum" are boycotting UNC’s $4.25 billion campaign known as “For All Kind: the Campaign for Carolina” and calling other alumni and North Carolina residents to “join in a movement of awareness of the uncomfortable environment on campus due to systemic inequities for Blacks.” 

Participating alumni believe the University’s actions contradict the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., due to the continued conflict over Silent Sam, the dismantling of the UNC Center for Civil Rights and the failure to reappoint Dr. Deborah Stroman to the Kenan-Flagler Business School as chairperson of the Black Faculty and Staff caucus.

Among alumni boycotting are former NBA and UNC basketball player and Sam Perkins (‘84) and activist and minister Michelle Cotton Laws (‘92).

“It is disappointing to have our respectful pleas fall on deaf ears,” Laws said in a statement. “To have administrators dismiss or manipulate the glaring facts and deny that many work in environments that are hostile or create a spirit of fear to speak out. UNC lacks a sense of urgency to a serious and alarming problem.”

In a press release, Hark the Drum expressed the desire for dialogue on systemic inequities at UNC. 

“The Hark the Drum grassroots movement is solely purposed to expose the continued facade of acceptance, engagement, and promotion of the Black community at UNC regardless of the changes of senior administrators over the years,” the press release states. 

“Frustrated and tired of the administration’s repetitive calls for more unnecessary research and data analysis of the very obvious inequities; and the offering of toothless and non-innovative programs that focus on individuals (and not institutional barriers), alumni have recently found efforts to engage in real dialogue and the design of effective solutions to be unwelcome from the current leadership.”

“For All Kind: the Campaign for Carolina” is the largest campaign in the school’s history and the second largest campaign for public universities in the country. It aims to improve the arts and Ackland Art Museum, improve buildings and space and eliminate financial barriers for students.

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