The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday September 25th

Elevate: Amplifying voices in our community

Elevate is here to do exactly what it says — to give a platform to those whose voices are often silenced. This is a page to celebrate and uplift the underrepresented communities that make up Chapel Hill, who contribute to our culture and daily lives in ways that are often not reported. Elevate adds depth to stories across campus, the town and Orange County.


The page is in part put together and reported by members of the Sharif Durhams Leadership Program, a talent and leadership development course for DTH students from underrepresented groups. Elevate accepts pitches throughout the year for op-eds and letters from members of different groups in our community. Please send submissions to elevate@dailytarheel.com.



Rabbi Bluming speaking to the crowd right before the High Holidays last year. Photo courtesy of the Chabad of Durham/Chapel Hill.

Jewish students find new ways to celebrate Yom Kippur in isolation

Although the diverse members of the community all observe Yom Kippur in different ways, many would typically celebrate by fasting throughout the day, attending services at a synagogue and attending a break-fast at the end of the day.  This year, virtual gatherings and social distancing are being emphasized as the method to observe the holiest day in Judaism.

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Mauricio Salazar-Saenz, Ph.D. student in the Department of Economics at UNC-Chapel Hill, sits at his desk for a virtual portrait on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020 from Medellin, Colombia. He is on a leave of absence for the Fall 2020 semester due to financial issues caused by the university's handling of international graduate students during the COVID-19 pandemic and is using the time to conduct research from Colombia.

International graduate assistants abroad face unemployment under new policy

A new University policy this semester mandated that graduate students needed to be physically present in the U.S. by Aug. 10 to serve as teaching or research assistants.  In an email statement, UNC Media Relations said over the past few months, the unprecedented suspension of visa services indicated that many graduate students wouldn’t be able to get visas in time for the start of the semester. Patricia A. McAnany, chairperson of the anthropology department, said her department does not have a large endowment, and determined that it was infeasible to support students outside of the country with a TA position. 

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(From left) Frank Baumgartner, Jennifer Ho and Sharon Holland discuss their collaborative "Intersectionality: Race, Gender, Sexuality and Social Justice" course at the Gray Squirrel coffee shop in Carrboro in 2016. Photo courtesy of Kristen Chavez, UNC College of Arts & Sciences.

Faculty of color consider leaving, cite lack of opportunities and toxic environment

UNC faculty said they have considered leaving the University for peer institutions due to a lack of leadership opportunities and a toxic environment for faculty who are people of color. “The work that we do is not valued as much as work that other faculty do,” Jennifer Ho said. Jennifer Ho was the associate director of the UNC Institute for the Arts and Humanities — until she left in June 2019. “A lot of us were going to leave at a certain point because one, we couldn't get leadership positions, and two, who would want to stay in this climate?” Sharon Holland, chairperson of the Department of American Studies and ​Townsend Ludington distinguished professor, said.

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