We return to campus in 2019 after a successful TA action built on decades of antiracist organizing by students and workers at UNC-Chapel Hill. The action (1) stopped the creation of a multi-million dollar Confederate memorial hall that would have brought Silent Sam back to campus and (2) rejected the proposal for a militarized mobile police force, both which continued to place Black and other people of color at the University in danger of white supremacist violence. The action garnered support from undergraduate students, graduate students, workers, faculty, and their counterparts across the nation, as well as student and professional athletes.
In the wake of this antiracist movement, University administrators have scrambled to create a dozen discrete meetings for graduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences and scheduled them throughout the second and third weeks of January. Two meetings were scheduled before campus resumes from winter break.
There is historic precedent at UNC-Chapel Hill for administrators to divide and conquer antiracist movement building on campus. We therefore recognize the series of meetings, delivered under the guise of “enriching the graduate experience,” as a tactic to squash our collective power and distract from the antiracist conversation by baiting graduate students with hollow attempts to minimally increase only the lowest graduate worker stipends.
We will not be bought.
In this post you will find resources about the meetings and current events regarding the antiracist movement at the University. Here we include:
- A letter to Dean Guskiewicz, Chancellor Folt, and members of the Board of Governors to hold a single, interdepartmental meeting. The letter, delivered January 4th, 2109, was signed by 189 graduate students from 39 departments at the University .
- An informational flier that explains why the meetings are happening now. (Hint: It’s not because the University administrators are suddenly aware of the grossly inadequate stipends we receive.)
- A handout on divide and conquer tactics with examples from past antiracist movements at the University.
- Calendar of scheduled CAS meetings.
To follow the meetings in realtime, please visit @strikedownsam on Twitter.