The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday March 30th

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

A ramp leads to the Old Well on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022.

Column: Disabled people are experts on our own health

"Now, I’m assumed to add so little to my classes that it is perfectly acceptable when I’m not really a part of them. I see campus opening back up and administrators sticking their heads in the sand, and the only decision being delegated to me is whether or not I risk my life to attend my classes. That’s a difficult decision to make."

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Judit Alvarado, community outreach field coordinator for FFORC, poses for a portrait outside of Wilson Library on Nov. 20, 2021. "The goal of FFORC Is to work and partner with communities to help continue the work of food access and physical activity," Alvarado said.

UNC research group creates more outdoor opportunities for local communities

UNC’s Food, Fitness and Opportunity Research Collaborative is working with underserved communities in Orange County through a project called Communities on the Move.  “A lot of the research we do is not us coming in and doing studies that we are interested in,” FFORC Community Outreach Field Coordinator and Orange County resident Judit Alvarado said. “It is more about learning what communities need. We focus on trying to find ways to align our research with our communities’ needs and desires.” 

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Dontae Sharpe speaks at a rally organized by various social justice groups urging a full pardon after his 2019 exoneration on July 9, 2021, at the North Carolina State Capitol building. Photo courtesy of Angelica Edwards/News & Observer.

Dontae Sharpe granted pardon of innocence from the governor

“A pardon of innocence is a formal recognition that the person is actually innocent and therefore their conviction and their incarceration was wrongful," Theresa Newman, one of Sharpe’s lawyers, said. "That has a very profound effect on the person who receives it, and it had a very, very profound effect on Mr. Sharpe.” 

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Miss Indian NC, Kaitlyn Deal, performs the song 'Brown Skin' on a hand drum at the CIC cultural showcase on Nov. 18, 2021 at the Great Hall.

Carolina Indian Circle celebrates annual culture showcase

“It’s been the first showcase we’ve had since COVID,” said Evynn Richardson, who is a first-year and member of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe and Nansemond Nation. "And not having one for the past two years, I’m just excited for everyone to showcase what they’ve worked on and what’s important to them pertaining to their indigeneity.”

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People rallied in the Pit in support of Maya Little before placing flowers  at the site where James Cates was killed in 1970.

UNC community honors memory of James Cates on the anniversary of his death

Friends, family and advocates for Cates shared his story and discussed ongoing efforts to memorialize him at the remembrance event. "James was more than just a neighbor, he was a best friend,” Robert Campbell, a local minister and childhood friend of Cates', said. “He was a visionary and I just try to imagine, what would he have accomplished if he was still alive today?”

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"The land represents stability," reads a plaque at the front of the Gift by the Student Union. The Gift is an art installation that celebrates symbols drawn from Native American traditions and the natural world.

'We are here': First Nations Graduate Circle hosts land acknowledgement rally

UNC's First Nations Graduate Circle hosted a rally in The Gift on Wednesday, encouraging all students and staff to learn about UNC’s prospective land acknowledgment.  “This was built on stolen lands from brown people, and built on the backs of enslaved Black people,” said Lydia Ruth Mansfield, historian for the Carolina Indian Circle and member of the Lumbee tribe. “It is so important that we acknowledge that history and not shy away from it.” 

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