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Tuesday December 7th

UNC commission talks building renaming updates, plans to honor Unsung Founders Memorial

Building renaming recommendations expected to reach Board of Trustees by November, Parker says

The History, Race and a Way Forward Commission meets via Zoom on Sept. 27.
Buy Photos The History, Race and a Way Forward Commission meets via Zoom on Sept. 27.

The building renaming process has moved forward towards the convening of an Ad Hoc Committee, which will then make recommendations to the Board of Trustees, Patricia Parker, co-chairperson of the History, Race and a Way Forward Commission, said Monday. But she does not expect the recommendations to reach the BOT until November at the earliest, she said. 

Also at Monday's History, Race and a Way Forward Commission meeting, members discussed plans to host a two-part webinar series about the history and future of the Unsung Founders Memorial. 

What’s new?

  • Sherick Hughes, professor of education, has stepped down from the Commission. Commission Co-Chairperson Patricia Parker introduced Simona Goldin, a research associate professor of public policy, as the newest member of the commission.
  • Commission Co-Chairperson Jim Leloudis said that the University will host an international conference with the Universities Studying Slavery consortium in spring 2023.
  • The commission discussed plans to host a two-part webinar series on the Unsung Founders Memorial on Oct. 12 and Oct. 18.
    • The first webinar will focus on the history of the memorial. It will include a panel featuring student representatives from the class of 2002, as well as community members, administrators and faculty members who were present during the memorial’s planning and dedication.
    • The panel will answer questions about the origin of the monument, their involvement in the planning and dedication of the monument, as well as how their perception of it has evolved over time.
    • ​​“We want to give the community an opportunity to participate and to lend their voices to whatever decision we recommend," Joseph Jordan, director of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center, said. "And also to make sure we give some of the folks that were here during that period in time an opportunity to talk about what was on their minds, what were they thinking as they tried to bring this particular place, space and monument into being."
    • The second webinar will focus on the future of the monument. This will include discussion of recommendations for the chancellor regarding the practical issues the monument faces today, such as the fact that it is sinking into the ground. Leloudis mentioned plans to have panelists give prepared statements before opening up the meeting for discussion from viewers.  
    • “All those questions are meant to invite you to kind of think with us about the best way to really lift up community voices," Leloudis said. "And give as much space as we possibly can to the many people in our community, within the rock walls of the campus and beyond the rock walls, who've been over the years thinking very deeply about the Unsung Founders Memorial."
    • Commission members discussed ways to nurture productive conversation over an online format, including using breakout rooms to foster a more inclusive sharing of ideas. Parker also mentioned they are open to hosting more webinars on the subject in the future. 

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