On Monday evening, the UNC Undergraduate Executive Branch hosted a town hall focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.
Students gathered in the auditorium in the Student Union to discuss problems faced by minorities, facilitate understanding and increase awareness of different multicultural organizations on campus.
The town hall was led by Krystal Lacayo and Cecilia Derlon, DEI co-directors in the executive branch. Lacayo began the discussion by asking the audience about the impact of multicultural organizations on different cultures.
Derlon said when she came to UNC she was nervous that she wouldn’t find a community of people that represented her identity. Originally from Venezula, she said joining the club Mi Pueblo provided her with support.
“I felt very represented in terms of speaking my language, hanging out with people that were like me, eating foods that I like and foods that I ate at home,” she said.
An attendee said the UNC SPARK program, a retreat for first-year undergraduate women from underrepresented or marginalized backgrounds, helped facilitate understanding of what it means to attend a predominately white institution.
The audience went on to discuss whether or not they felt multicultural organizations received the same support from the University compared to other groups on campus.
UNC junior Jaleah Taylor, co-founder of the Black Pre-Law Association at UNC, said she was inspired to create a club focused on law school admissions for Black students following the Supreme Court’s affirmative action decision. She said having this resource is important for future students who will attend the University.
“It was a good opportunity for students to know what it’s like to go to law school as a Black student because, a lot of the time, we found that a lot of Black students don’t have access to other Black law students — because different disparities exist in our communities,” she said.