UNC System creates racial equity task force but students stress more action needed going forward

Josh Chapin Image
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
UNC System creates task force for racial equity but students say more action needed
UNC System creates task force for racial equity but students say more action needed

The UNC System announced Tuesday it is creating an equity task force.

A memo released said it is in the "pursuit of greater racial equity and understanding."

This comes on the same day Gov. Cooper announced the creation of a state task force to eliminate systemic racism in North Carolina's criminal justice system.

Gov. Cooper creates racial equity task force assigned to eliminate racism in criminal justice system

The six person committee will meet with students, faculty and staff groups to discuss issues of race and equity in the UNC System. They will then determine the tangible steps that can be taken across the UNC System in pursuit of "equity and understanding."

The task force will prepare a report to the Board of Governors to include a list of recommendations and action steps then present that to the chair of the Board of Governors and president by October 2.

"At this very moment, it's valid for students to say this is for show," said Tamiya Troy, president of the Black Student Movement at UNC Chapel Hill and vice president of the senior class. "We've seen time and time again how the Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees responds to issues as a whole that black students bring to the forefront and issues we address."

Tamiya said fellow Black Student Movement presidents throughout the UNC System were not consulted about the task force.

She said as a group they will respond in the coming days.

"It's more than just a hashtag," she said. "It's not a trend. It's not something where you get to just release a statement and say you tried. We need to see action moving forward. It goes way back before 2020 and the Black Lives Matter movement," Troy said. "It's things the university has constantly showed us that they don't necessarily value black lives."

Three members of the Board of Governors will sit on the task force along with two members of the UNC System Faculty Assembly. The sixth member is the president of the UNC Association of Student Governments.