A message to the Carolina family

Dear Carolina Family:

Yesterday, as our students returned to campus we were reminded why it is so important to celebrate the legacy and pursue the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. As classes resumed, we were filled with excitement for new beginnings, perhaps some nervousness about the semester ahead, the joy of seeing old friends and anticipation for making new ones. Those positive feelings were abruptly halted by an abhorrent and unacceptable display of hatred—flyers posted in two buildings containing despicable words of bigotry and racism.

Ours is a community built on inclusivity and respect for all. We value all people and seek to create an environment in which each of us feels welcome and can thrive.

This is not who we are and this behavior has no place at Carolina. Simply put, this was an act of cowardice and ignorance. As a community of scholars and as a family, we reject that way of thinking.

Ours is a community built on inclusivity and respect for all. We value all people and seek to create an environment in which each of us feels welcome and can thrive.

Unfortunately, our campus is not immune from the ills of society and we are not, nor can we be, completely insulated from the actions or influence of outside actors. Recent articles in the New York Times and Politico cite experts who are expecting an increase of incidents like this one on college campuses across the country in 2018.

Therefore, we must be prepared. We must be prepared to combat hatred with love and respect; venomous rhetoric with civility and thoughtful debate; violence with a handshake or friendly embrace.

As a Carolina Family, we must make it clear that bigotry and racism have no place in our community. 

As a Carolina Family, we must make it clear that bigotry and racism have no place in our community. That responsibility falls to all of us. We invite you to join other members of our community and make your voice heard tomorrow at a community dialogue sponsored by the offices of Diversity and Inclusion and Multicultural Student Affairs. This dialogue will provide a space to raise concerns and seek appropriate responses to hatred, in all forms, on our campus. The conversation will begin at 5 p.m. in the Russell House Ballroom.

Throughout the rest of this week our MLK Celebration continues. Participate in the food drive contributions, join us for the MLK Commemorative Breakfast on Friday, “Freedom Rings: An artistic celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” on Sunday and volunteer for the MLK Day of Service. Let’s show the world that we will stand united against hatred as we defend and pursue Dr. King’s legacy.

 

Sincerely,

Harris Pastides, President

John C. von Lehe, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Trustees