Orange County

UNC School of Education joins growing list denouncing Silent Sam

Two of the five men carrying Confederate flags stand near a sit-in at the base of the Silent Same Confederate statue (background) on the UNC campus Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. The men carrying the flags were in opposition to the sit-in group who is calling for the removal of the Silent Sam. The men refused to give their names.
Two of the five men carrying Confederate flags stand near a sit-in at the base of the Silent Same Confederate statue (background) on the UNC campus Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. The men carrying the flags were in opposition to the sit-in group who is calling for the removal of the Silent Sam. The men refused to give their names. ssharpe@newsobserver.com

UNC’s School of Education has joined the list of university departments and faculty members publicly denouncing the Silent Sam statue.

The Confederate monument stands on UNC-Chapel Hill’s McCorkle Place quad, a primary entrance to campus off Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill.

The School of Education released its “Statement on Silent Sam,” officially calling for the removal of the statue, Tuesday morning.

“Its presence on our campus is contrary to our School’s commitment to the transformative power of education,” the statement read.

Previous statements urging Silent Sam’s removal have come from the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Geography, the Department of Communication, a group of faculty at the School of Law , the Faculty Council, UNC students and Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger.

Former Chancellor James Moeser said he too wants “Sam” gone.

Attorney Hampton Dellinger, representing the UNC Black Law Students Association and other UNC students, sent a September letter to Chancellor Carol Folt and UNC system President Margaret Spellings advising them that he is prepared to file a federal lawsuit if the statue is not removed.

School of Education faculty, staff and its Board of Graduate Student Association put the matter of joining the growing list of opposition to the monument to a vote, before adopting their decision.

In speeches dedicating the monument, Silent Sam was erected as a symbol of hatred, bigotry, and white supremacy,” the School of Education wrote. “It was part of a movement that worked to suppress the political and economic power of black Americans, to establish structures to extend white dominance, and to suppress the aspirations of people of color.”

The School of Education wrote that the presence of the Confederate monument on campus in Chapel Hill runs contrary to its departmental mission that “education has the power to break down barriers, lift up individuals, and empower communities to rise and thrive.”

Faculty and staff of the UNC department wrote as “educators, we have an obligation to continue the work of dismantling systemic racism in our schools, on our college campuses, and in our democratic society.”

Colin Warren-Hicks: 919-419-6636, @CWarrenHicks

  Comments