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Carolina Black Caucus Assault on DEI Statement

Updated: May 1

For fifty years, the Carolina Black Caucus has been at the forefront advocating for a just and equitable campus community at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and addressing some of the most pressing challenges in higher education. However, our work is incomplete and the fight for justice continues. Discrimination and bias still pin

a knee on the neck of equality, equity, and justice.

The Carolina Black Caucus openly protests the vote taken by the UNC Board of Governors Committee on University Governance, to reverse and replace Sections 300.8.5 of the UNC Policy Manual, Policy on Diversity and Inclusion

Within the University of North Carolina, and 300.8.5[R] of the UNC Policy Manual, Regulation on the Diversity and Inclusion Within the University of North Carolina. The committee took under 80 seconds to make a decision without giving proper consideration to the threats or damaging effects this decision would cause. This preemptive action was taken before any legislature enacted pertinent law and underscores the ongoing oppressive assaults on minoritized communities about which the BOG espouses to care. How can we promote free speech, holistic well-being of

students, and diversity of thought, but enact policies that surveil education, obstruct research, censor perspectives, and delegitimize lived experiences that challenge or deviate from societal norms? Actions of the BOG contradict what the UNC System claims as values, put politics ahead of progress and send a clear message to underrepresented faculty, staff, and students that their work and expertise are unvalued and their presence is all being called into question. We adamantly oppose the inferred notion that DEI has no value and that individuals from underrepresented

backgrounds have not earned their place as scholars, researchers, and practitioners.

Calling for the defunding and eradication of DEI programs/offices across UNC system institutions based on anecdotal claims without evidence and unquantifiable presumptions distances the system from its mission “to discover, create,

transmit, and apply knowledge to address the needs of individuals and society.” The intentional failure to utilize empirical data to inform system wide policies sets a dangerous precedent that political polarization drives decision making and limits the opportunity for educated discourse about critical issues that impact us all. The deliberate exclusion of diversity and inclusion in University system policies as specific and critical considerations removes institutional commitment to serve and champion all members of the UNC System campuses, as well as its capacity to be receptive to differing positionalities, traditions, and ideas. We urge our leaders to “put into practice what a significant and growing body of educational and organizational research has established: that diversity enhances learning, fosters discovery, and strengthens service, especially in a community in which all individuals are valued for

the unique combination of attributes that make them who they are.” We need decision makers who will not accede to unfounded rhetoric and political pressure. We call upon our System leaders to be overt by setting the standard for justice, equity, and equality. The arc of the moral universe is long and will bend toward justice, but only if we pull and

lean into it.

The Carolina Black Caucus maintains that in order to promote and encourage an egalitarian and just public higher educational system, the Board of Governors must preserve the policies as written and the associated offices and positions to maintain equitable access to high quality education across all UNC System campuses.

Finally, we pledge to remain united in our resolve to hold our leaders accountable and to build a more inclusive higher education system that is a welcoming, learning and work environment that values and respects the identities of students, faculty, and staff from all North Carolina communities and around the world.

Until Justice is Real,

The Carolina Black Caucus, Advocacy Committee

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