Statement on Silent Sam

The Faculty, Staff, and the Board of the Graduate Student Association in the School of Education at UNC-Chapel Hill stand with faculty, staff, and students from across campus in calling for the removal of the confederate monument now known as "Silent Sam." In speeches dedicating the monument, Silent Sam was erected as a symbol of hatred, bigotry, and white supremacy. 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. Its presence on our campus is contrary to our School's commitment to the transformative power of education. It is contrary to our belief, as embodied in our mission, that "education has the power to break down barriers, lift up individuals, and empower communities to rise and thrive." It is contrary to the ideas and practices that we and many of our alumni have worked to implement to dismantle the vestiges of a history that included laws forbidding slaves to learn to read or write and making it a crime for others to teach them. If we are to be true to the people of the state and part of a world-class educational system dedicated to serving North Carolina and its people, we must ensure that our campus is welcoming to all learners. 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.

Adopted by votes of the Faculty and Staff of the School of Education and the Board of the School's Graduate Student Association.