The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday January 20th

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

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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Anvita Godavarthi, a second-year student majoring in Business Administration, participates in various activities including blowing bubbles on the Wellness Field Day on Nov. 12.

Asian Health Advocacy Alliance promotes wellness, community mental health support

On Friday, the UNC Asian Health Advocacy Alliance partnered with HBO Max and Yaya Tea for the wellness day event, which featured activities hosted by UNC Counseling and Psychological Services, the Vietnamese Student Association and WE ARE SAATH at UNC-CH. The activities included badminton, double dutch rope, jianzi, slime-making and more. The Asian Health Advocacy Alliance strives to improve the overall health of Asian American and Pacific Islanders in North Carolina through advocacy, education and community engagement.

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The UNC Latina/o Studies Program (LSP) held a virtual undergraduate symposium on Nov. 8. At the symposium, students and faculty discussed the exploration of art and its relation to history, politics and identity.

Students share research, perspectives on Latinx art at undergraduate symposium

The symposiums are part of an ongoing series that relate to historical and current events happening in Latinx communities and around the world.  “We intentionally create unique symposiums, and the symposiums are really intended to help our campus and broader community expand their conceptions of what defines Latinx people, their experiences, values and cultural and intellectual productions,” said Geovani Ramírez, a postdoctoral teaching assistant professor who moderated the symposium. 

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Genna Rae McNeil, Professor Emerita of History at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and a scholar of African-American and U.S. Constitutional history, delivered the 2021 Sonja Haynes Stone Lecture.

Professor Emeritus Genna Rae McNeil gives 29th annual Stone Center lecture

During the lecture, the professor emeritus of history at UNC and a scholar of African American and U.S. constitutional history spoke about the lessons she has learned in studying history and critical race theory.  "What kind of history will you make with your life?" McNeil asked the audience. "And what kind of society do you want to live? What kind of society do you want to leave for coming generations?"

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Janet Mock, a writer, director, producer, and transgender rights activist, speaks at an event presented by Student Life and Leadership and UNC Queer and/or Transgender People of Color on Nov. 10 at Carolina Union's Great Hall. "An Evening with Janet Mock" consisted of conversations focused on leveraging your voice to enact positive change. "You don't have to have it all figured out," Mock says to audience members.

Emmy-nominated director Janet Mock discusses entertainment industry, personal journey

At the hour-long event, Mock, who directed the FX series “Pose,” gave advice to young QTPOC — queer and/or transgender people of color — and reflected on her personal journey of healing and identity.  “What does it look like for these castaways, who have been pushed out of homes, to build a network, family, resources and sanctuary within the ballroom?" Mock said of the show. 

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